NGOs deal with a wide range of challenges on their day-to-day management routine. Concerning those human resources, volunteers are largely underestimated and when they are appreciated, it is usual to suffer troubles as the current tools needed to coordinate them are different from the ones applied to normal paid staff on the third or private sector. According to this, non profit and volunteering organisations demand new accessible VET tools for their teams and a professionalization of the field that could create the suitable environments for the development of those working on it.
Following this need, “Levol-app: learning app for the VET on volunteering management programmes” appeared to overcome the lack of new learning pathways orientated to cover the real profesional needs of non profit organisations and their teams. It was a 28-month strategic partnership at EU level funded by Erasmus+ and its Key Action 2 for the development of VET coordinated by Pista Mágica – Associação (Portugal) with the support of Neo Sapiens (Spain), Associazione di Promozione Sociale Futuro Digitale (Italy), Platforma dobrovolnickych centier a organizacii (PDCO) (Slovakia) and the Birmingham voluntary Service Council (BVSC) (United Kingdom). It joined together more than 300 participants from the five project countries related to non profit organisations who cooperated with Levol-app partners on the detection of the project target group needs, tested the outputs created and contributed with their feedback to improve the materials developed before their final publication when the project finished. The participation of such a wide range of participants allowed to work together and exchange good practices related to the training of those responsible of the creation and coordination of volunteer management programmes (at local or international level).
As a result, partners created an online platform on five languages to support NGOs on the creation or improvement of programmes to better engage volunteers as active citizens and improve the competences and professional skills of the volunteer managers.
The materials and training online developed deal with topics such as planning a high impact volunteer program, organizing volunteers, creating volunteer positions, recruiting the right volunteers, matching volunteers to work, preparing volunteers for success, supervising volunteers for maximum performance, measuring volunteer program effectiveness, recognition of volunteers, etc. All the participants taking part on the project were not only able to test and use this tool to create their own volunteering programmes, but had also the support of personal coaches on each partner country who helped them to implement the knowledge acquired along the project.
During the implementation of Levol-app, partner organisations run together different activities in the five countries involved such as:
All these activites have made possible to build a tailor-made learning pathway for NGOs and their staff about volunteering coordination that contributes to cover the lack of VET for professionals on this sector. The tool created to contain this training materials has been well recognized by all the participants involved on the project not only as a way to create volunteering management programmes, but also as a reference or checking device to supervise already existing processes to handle volunteers and upgrade them. As a consequence, Levol-app partners have success on developing a new innovative material covering the main needs of its potential target groups but also allowing them to adapt the knowledge provided to their own contexts and structures of their organisations.
All the results of Levol-app are being openly shared by this project website that does not only contains information about it, but also contains all its outputs and provide a permanent access to the online training platform created.
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.