Introduction and guidance
Working in the voluntary sector is a free badged course that lasts eight weeks, with approximately three hours’ study time each week. You can work through the course at your own pace, so if you have more time one week there is no problem with pushing on to complete another week’s study.
There may be several reasons for you studying this course – perhaps you’ve been thinking about volunteering or working in the voluntary sector and wanted to find out more about it; or you already work or volunteer and are seeking to build on your existing knowledge or skills. You may, of course, just have a general interest in voluntary organisations or are looking to develop your study skills for further learning.
There are many roles and responsibilities in voluntary organisations, and this course introduces you to some of the main activities carried out by volunteers and staff. These activities include working with volunteers; marketing and communications; working with budgets; fundraising; taking part in meetings; working in teams and partnerships; and managing stress and conflict. Even if you do not personally get involved with all of the activities covered in the course, learning about them will give you some background on how different organisations work and what staff and volunteers do. The course will provide you with knowledge and skills you can apply to your own work or volunteering, as well as to your everyday life.
All these aspects will be explained, so don’t worry if they seem unfamiliar at the moment. You’ll use plenty of real-life examples to help with this and you’ll get plenty of opportunities to practise your new understanding and skills.
Part of this practice will be the weekly interactive quizzes, of which Weeks 4 and 8 will provide you with an opportunity to earn a badge to demonstrate your new skills. You can read more on how to study the course, and about badges, in the next sections.
As part of the course, there is a glossary which explains key terms used throughout the course.
After completing this course you will be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of different roles and activities in voluntary organisations
- understand how to work with other staff and volunteers in your team and organisation
- use and apply your knowledge about the voluntary sector to your own work or volunteering experience
- link your learning with your own personal or career goals.
Moving around the course
In the ‘Summary’ at the end of each week, you can find a link to the next week. If at any time you want to return to the start of the course, click on ‘Full course description’. From here you can navigate to any part of the course.
It’s also good practice, if you access a link from within a course page (including links to the quizzes), to open it in a new window or tab. That way you can easily return to where you’ve come from without having to use the back button on your browser.