The Need for the Voluntary Sector to have Project Skills

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During the Covid19 Pandemic, one of the major sectors to be impacted is the Voluntary Sector (non-for-profit organisations). Countless people give time and energy to this sector and are limited by restrictions that are in place. In turn the sector has seen a downturn in the inbound services they offer as well as the outbound attention they need. There is a huge drive in place to attempt to work with various partners / communities to develop some resources to assist charities, community & voluntary organisations and social enterprises in this transition. In is not an easy transition from the pre-Covid19 to the new Normal for these organisations and it got us to think of what is needed.

It is vital that people who work in the sector have the appropriate skills to meet this challenge. And one of those skills is certainly Project Management. If you read no further and you are part of a Voluntary Organisation in need of Project Management Skills, we will donate FREE Project Management Consultation … how to avail of this … simply send a mail to with the Subject Line “Project Management for the Voluntary Sector” and we will assist you in what you need.

Why does the Voluntary Sector need Project Management Skills? Here are the five core project management skills that are needed in the Voluntary Sector:

  1. Projects are about people. How do you put a team together, keep it together and get it working together? Volunteers need to be able to build their teams and engage with the management to realise their objectives
  2. A really important part of project management is communication, and we want to be able to show you how to achieve this with inbound and outbound communication. The power of communication should never be undervalued in the voluntary sector
  3. Control tools are as important as planning tools, we have to control it and to track progress. Some core competencies we would look for are the ability to manage:
    • Conduct successful project meetings
    • Review plans and work on issues
    • Be able to deal with problems & changes
  4. Concentrate on the practicalities of the job. Project management is full of the bells and the whistles which are not needed in the Voluntary sector. Focus on the practicalities of what needs to be done.
  5. Set a vision and be able to align to it, or allow the team, community, management to align to it. To do this, be able to answer the following:
    • Where do I start?
    • What are my deliverable’s?
    • How do I present this vision?
    • What is the value of the vision?
    • How do I communicate the vision?

Have this in place, allows voluntary organisation to be able to stand up in the new-normal and take ownership of their direction with new and innovative initiatives.

To be a successful project manager in the Voluntary Sector, we would always look for the following core competencies:

  • To be a leader with proven ability to innovate and drive initiatives that will enhance the community
  • To be a communicator with an interest in fostering a team spirit and volunteers
  • Have organisational skills with some level of project management skills
  • Have a willingness and flexibility to deal with the unknown and accepting of those around us.

Lastly, you might ask, where are we getting this from. Liam Dillon, Turlon & Associates Managing Director, has spent nearly 20 years working with voluntary organisations at Executive Level and we have taken a lot of these insights for his experiences.

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