Volunteer Policy

DEVELOPMENT AND APPLICATION OF THE BRC VOLUNTEER POLICY

According to the Plan of the IFRC Secretariat for promoting the development of volunteering in the National Red Cross/Red Crescent Societies by the year 2005:
The majority of the National Societies (NS) must have introduced a systematic volunteering management or at least have started working actively in that direction
The majority of NS look for, create and share knowledge and information regarding volunteering and the systematic volunteering management
The top twenty largest NS in terms of member and volunteer count, have reliable statistics regarding its members and volunteers, while the remaining NS’s are in the process of introducing such system
Taking into account the main points, formulated in the IFRC Strategy until 2010, The volunteering policy guide and the aforementioned Plan for promoting volunteering, as well as the goals defined in the Strategy of BRC until the year 2010, the “Organizational Development and Strategic Planning” (ODSP) department established a complete program and plan for action, in the form of a project, that applied for financing by the NS. The project, called “Development and application of a volunteering policy in BRC” was financially backed by the Spanish Red Cross and it started in June 2003 by establishing a Policy for the development of volunteering and a strategy for its realization on the regional level. The project continued with “zonal training” campaigns of volunteers and staff from the regional and municipal level and with “approbations” of good practices. Further work continued the creation of the Expert team for volunteering and its “field work” in 10 regional organizations and was eventually concluded in 2007-2008 with the first local projects that attended the needs of vulnerable groups through voluntary labor.This systematic work in the implementation of a modern volunteering management was presented to our partners from France and the NS, and received a strongly positive feedback as early as the Regional meeting on the problems in organizational development (Budapest 2005). The project growth continued to attract attention and excellent evaluations each consecutive year at the annual meetings of the European network for the volunteering development (in which we participate since 2006), and finally at the General Assembly of the IFRC 2007 received the unique prize for achievements in the implementation of modern volunteering management. Last but not least the approach is also highly appreciated by the local organizations in Bulgaria.The progress, achieved so far, in establishing the volunteering development policy in BRC, allows us to conclude that our National Society is regarded as one of the leading organizations in the field. This, on the other hand, sets even higher standards for our future activities and contributions as a methodological center on the problems of volunteering in the region. Our priorities in the following period focus on the creation and implementation of a modern information system for the volunteering management in BRC, on the individual and socio-psychological aspects of the voluntary activity in the context of our membership in the EU and on the implementation of an e-learning program for volunteering management as a fundamental form for exchange of knowledge and skill between the managers and coordinators from different parts of the country.The success of our partnership programs in the implementation of the different elements of the modern volunteering management on both the national and regional level, could not have achieved sustainability without the formalization of the system for recruitment, training and retaining of volunteers in BRC. The establishment of “Volunteering office” in the ODSP department in October 2006 was one of the first important steps in the institutionalization of the volunteering management on a national level, in compliance with the requirements defined by the IFRC regarding the development of volunteering policies in the national Red Cross Societies. Also that same year began the deployment of a wide-spread network of both regional and municpal volunteering clubs, which as elements of the new structure, allow not only to reach into the “heart” of each community and increase the number of sympathizers to the cause, but also to systematically implement such vital components of the volunteering management as the representative database and the modern communication media.