Thinking Out of the Box


My name is Diana Powell and I am the Training Development Coordinator here at Volunteer Calgary.  Janet and I work together as a team to deliver training to our members.  My educational background is in Human Resources and Adult Education.  I started at Volunteer Calgary last spring.  I love my work here and am pleased that I will be contributing to our blog on occasion. 

I facilitated a session last week similar to our Elements of Volunteer Engagement course.  A discussion with the group sparked an idea in my mind for a new volunteer role. 

During training we encourage participants to do a ‘needs assessment’ for departments within their organizations to try to think about how they can properly support staff teams with volunteers of varying levels of skill.  Often during training sessions I have conversations about Volunteer Managers and Coordinators engaging volunteers to support them in their own positions.  There are usually some in the group who think this is a new and radical idea.  Many VM’s have large workloads including many areas.  Many times VM’s have never thought of having a volunteer support them in their own role.  We also talk about creating appealing roles that will benefit the volunteer and keep them motivated to return.

As I spoke about recognition at this particular workshop I began to think about supporting our volunteers and all the thoughts I’ve mentioned converged as a new volunteer role. 

Recognition Coordinator – wouldn’t you love to do this?  It would be such a fun position! This coordinator would work closely with the VM and recognize all of the volunteers within the organization.  They would need a range of creative skills.  They would ask volunteers how they want to be recognized and personalize the recognition to the need of the volunteer.  They would arrange reference letters, take pictures of volunteers in action and post them on the website, write personal thank you notes, create personalized gifts, to name a few things; all while connecting each volunteer to how they have made a difference in the organization.   

As a Volunteer Manager wouldn’t you love to oversee a recognition program with a touch of excellence?

We welcome your comments on this idea and other great volunteer positions that you would like to tell us about.  If you’ve created a new or unique volunteer position share it with us so others can benefit from your great ideas too.

~Diana Powell~


Diana Powell started at Volunteer Calgary in the spring of 2010 and comes to us with eight years experience in the non-profit sector.  Her educational background is in Human Resources and Adult Education.  Diana has previous experience managing staff teams and volunteers as well as previous facilitation experience.  She is an advocate of the integration of Human Resources and Volunteer Management; as well as the development and advancement of the Volunteer Management profession.   She and Janet Burstall work as a team to provide the training courses offered here at Volunteer Calgary.  Diana enjoys working with people and has been a volunteer for many years.



About Propellus

Propellus is a non-profit organization that has been empowering organizations since 1955. Through a dynamic range of consulting, training and member services, it helps organizations envision and realize new paths, practices and possibilities. Propellus guides, mentors and educates clients, arming them with tools and resources to help boost organizational effectiveness. Propellus strengthens organizations; in doing so, it leads the way toward building thriving communities.
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