Dynamic Model

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The Dynamic Model of volunteer engagement was created by Volunteer Glasgow as a methodology for developing a volunteer involvement programme which balances the benefits to the potential volunteer with the needs and expectations of the volunteer involving organisation.

The Dynamic Model of Volunteer Involvement

So how do the best volunteer managers excel at what they do? While they are more likely to have an in depth knowledge of all the topics covered in this Wiki, the thing that can set them apart and which enables anyone with similar responsibilities to be effective, is the approach they take to involving their volunteers.

Volunteer management is constantly changing and evolving but adopting some core principles can help to make your organisation flexible and responsive so that your involvement of volunteers is seamless, practical, simple and, most significantly, really effective. The most efficient managers ensure that they are planning ahead and can also respond flexibly to unplanned offers of support from volunteers. Applying the Dynamic Model to your involvement of volunteers is one way to help create the right roles, for the right reasons, for the right people; whilst making the most of your resources.

What is the Dynamic Model?

The Dynamic Model focuses on the detailed analysis and design of individual volunteering roles that acknowledges that people volunteer because they get something out of it for themselves as well as to benefit the organisation they are giving their time to. Under the Dynamic Model, every volunteering role should be designed on the basis of a clear two way exchange of expectations and benefits.

Role analysis

When using the Dynamic Model it is important to do an analysis of the roles you are offering.

You should create:

  • A list of clear benefits for the volunteer, associated with the role, essential for enticing the right people to commit.
  • A detailed role description which presents the benefits in a narrative and accessible format.
  • A recruitment strategy that maximises the likelihood of attracting the right people.
  • A support and supervision model tailored to the role.
  • A range of assessment and monitoring tools that provide essential and useful feedback. This feedback is then used to maximise resources and make positive changes to the project and / or volunteer role
  • An engagement model which allows you to respond effectively and flexibly to offers of support by quickly designing bespoke roles that will be appropriate to your context.

The proces

1. Think about the role you want to create and list the tasks that will be involved - imagine walking through a typical ‘shift’.

2. Take into account:

  • Your organisation’s expectations.
  • The expectations of beneficiaries and/or communities served.
  • The volunteer’s expectations – ask your current volunteers and / or look at the research that is available.

3. Explore how these expectations might impact on the structure of your project and your volunteer management procedure.

4. Use these expectations as a spring board to consider the benefits for volunteers, beneficiaries and the organisation.

5. Draw conclusions and come to decisions regarding:

  • The role title and description - presented as a benefits narrative.
  • How you will use the benefits in a marketing campaign - the baited hook.
  • Your recruitment strategy and interview process.
  • Recruitment demographic - age, gender, skills, experience, knowledge, qualifications, attitude
  • Budget / resource implications including media costs, PVG requirements
  • Staffing
  • Equipment
  • Monitoring tools
  • Completion and exit process
Dynamic Model

More help?

Volunteer Glasgow facilitates a training programme to assist you in applying the Dynamic Model to your organisation.