The Difference A Springboard Volunteer Makes

This National Volunteers Week, we're shouting out the hundreds of people who give their time and expertise to make NZ learners' lives better.

To our Tūao: Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Springboard Trust's vision is to Transform Schools Together. But we can't make that happen without the thousands of hours our volunteers give to schools every year.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life, but all have one thing in common: a desire to give back to our tamariki.

Through Springboard Trust, they partner with school leaders and - often over the course of 10 months - spend time listening to, challenging and developing those in New Zealand's most important role: education.

They do this as coaches, subject matter experts, facilitators, capacity partners and more And this week, we're featuring interviews with some of our astonishingly accomplished volunteers to highlight their contribution.

We've also launched our inaugural Volunteer Impact Report, and have some special treats coming out volunteers' way this week!

Join us in applauding all of our volunteers, and enjoy what we've got on offer this week!

Volunteers are a vital part of Springboard’s whanau. Hundreds of you across the whole of Aotearoa share our commitment to Kiwi kids, and are willing to show that commitment by making the time to collaborate with school leaders. Together we have worked with over 500 schools, and we are only just starting. To all of our volunteers: a heartfelt thank you. We deeply appreciate your generosity of spirit. We hope that you, in turn, are inspired by the school leaders you have come to know. We look forward to continuing our work together, supporting school leaders to help Kiwi kids thrive.
Ian Narev, Chairman (and volunteer), Springboard Trust

Our favourite volunteer stories here at Springboard

Volunteer Impact Report 2020

Springboard Trust doesn’t exist without its volunteers. Every year, hundreds of cross-sector experts freely give their time and expertise to Aotearoa school leaders, all in service of a better future for our tamariki.   These volunteers and school leaders are transforming schools together – and the Volunteer Impact Report illustrates just how they’re doing it.  "Volunteers are a vital part of Springboard’s whanau. Hundreds of you across the whole of Aotearoa share our commitment to Kiwi kids, and are willing to show that commitment by making the time to collaborate with school leaders. Together we have worked with over 500 schools, and we are only just starting. To all of our volunteers: a heartfelt thank you. We deeply appreciate your generosity of spirit. We hope that you, in turn, are inspired by the school leaders you have come to know. We look forward to continuing our work together, supporting school leaders to help Kiwi kids thrive." - Ian Narev, Chairman, Springboard Trust Below you'll fund the full report, based on reflexive thematic analysis of our volunteer debriefs and surveys - as well as what principals had to say about their experience working with these cross-sector experts. We hope you enjoy it!

Feeling the love in our schools, with Fonterra's Jo Martell

This National Volunteer Week (June 20-26), we’re celebrating the amazing experiences of the individuals who give their time and expertise to support school leaders through Springboard Trust. Read more of our coverage here! For Jo Martell, General Manager of People and Culture at Fonterra, the volunteer experience with Springboard Trust has made a fundamental shift in her life.   “I asked a question at a forum recently, completely inspired by my volunteering experience – is there room for love in the corporate sector? Because there is love everywhere in our schools, a power of humanity that is desperately needed.”   That power of love, and the self-described “humbling” time she has spent with school leaders in the last 18 months, has reinvigorated Jo’s outlook.   A gift that goes both ways   Jo was familiar with Springboard Trust’s work through her colleagues who had already volunteered, and leapt at the opportunity to coach a school leader.   “I moved to the Hawkes Bay last year, and Bex [Springboard’s Volunteer Manager] needed someone to step in to help coach a school leader in the region. I’ve really wanted to do this, and it just ended up being perfect timing!”   With that, Jo’s journey began. Starting a new volunteer role in a pandemic-afflicted environment might seem like an added stressor, but, as Jo explains, COVID-19 only added to her drive to contribute to school leaders’ learning.   “COVID has been difficult, yes, but it’s created so much reflection on what’s important. Not just for me but for our children, our country’s future. For me, that meant really committing to finding ways to give back.”  And the coaching hasn’t just resulted in giving back – it's created that cherished two-way learning that so often happens at Springboard Trust.   “It’s such a great equilibrium of gifting and giving – I feel so privileged to be a part of these principals’ lives and to be able to offer a contribution to their learning in return.” Humbling experiences   As a volunteer, Jo has coached school leaders, providing an invaluable sounding board for them to reflect on themselves, their teams and their leadership style – which has proven to be an eye-opening experience.  “I think in the corporate world, we tend to have stronger frameworks around careers and leadership – identifying someone’s aspirations, helping them find pathways to those aspirations, and giving them the confidence to move forward. The principals I’ve worked with were teachers prior to their leadership role, and just haven’t had access to anything like that.”   “That’s been a really humbling experience, realising how much we have access to in the corporate sector that we take for granted. How to have conversations to build trust, key trust equations, even a lot of Simon Sinek stuff – being able to introduce those to school leaders has been amazing.”  “Because it’s lonely, you know? In the principal role. I’m often there as someone the principal can just download to, and help them get back into a positive space. I like to see them dancing out of our meetings!”   Spreading the love Jo’s time with school leaders has also given rise to immense gratitude for the work they do.   “The work they do for the next generation is vitally important, and they do so much of it – they're social workers, charity workers, teachers, leaders, and above all they love their kids so much.”  “Being invited into that world, welcomed like family and seeing the love in our schools first-hand – it's something you just have to do if you get the opportunity.”  
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Recognise, Connect, Reimagine: Welcome to Te Wiki Tūao ā-Motu

Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Wiki Tūao-ā-Motu. This week, we’re celebrating the hundreds of volunteers who contribute so much to our school leaders, their teams and the tamariki we all want to succeed.   Even in such a disruptive last 12-18 months, it has been clear that so many of you are willing and ready to commit to education’s future – nearly every single person who started 2020 volunteering maintained that commitment through an incredibly challenging time.   That manawanui can never be overestimated. In 2020, more than 280 individuals volunteered with Springboard, giving literally thousands of hours – more than a month of time in total – to working with Aotearoa principals, leadership teams, teachers and Kāhui Ako.   That’s why we’re spending this week highlighting the amazing impacts of this work. That begins today, with the launch of our Volunteer Impact Report. A summary of the full spectrum of work our tūao did in the last year, it highlights how incredibly rewarding volunteering with Springboard Trust is, as well as how profound the volunteers’ own professional and personal development can be through this work.  Later this week, we’ll be sharing a variety of interviews with our volunteers, key figures about their contributions, and presenting a very special celebration of our longest-serving volunteer (15 years!).   Keep your eyes peeled for all that and more, and to our volunteers – this one’s for you.  
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Find out more about how you can help New Zealand schools

Capacity Partners - Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme

Develop a principal's strategic skills Time commitment: 40 hours (approx) across nine workshops Runs February to November In-person, virtual or blended delivery Capacity Partners are matched with a principal undertaking the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme, meeting one-on-one with them throughout the year with through nine workshops and supporting the beginning of the principal's leadership journey with Springboard. Capacity Partners build trust, understand the needs of the principal and their context and support them in building their strategic plan and their leadership in their unique situation.   As a Capacity Partner, you will work with principals who are new to Springboard Trust and may have backgrounds, specialisations and experiences vastly different from your own. Taking the time to listen, learn and leverage your expertise to support them is critical to success.   The experienced Springboard Trust team will match you with a principal, making all the necessary introductions before the programme begins. You’ll also be part of a cohort with up to five other principals and their volunteer Capacity Partners, as well as a volunteer who will facilitate each workshop.   Who makes a great Capacity Partner?  Typically, Capacity Partners are senior leaders in their organisation, who are highly capable and skilled professionals.  Experience is typically in strategic planning, change or programme management with strong coaching skills. They may also be emerging leaders hoping to support their learning and ongoing career growth, or who want to accelerate their development in this area.   Volunteers who are also skilled and experienced in leadership or facilitation.   You’ll have experience in coaching, understand how to lead people (particularly from a strategic perspective), and grasp the core ideas of strategic planning, change management and transformation. Time Requirements Capacity Partners are asked to volunteer approximately 40 hours of their time annually, including a three-hour induction for first-time volunteers and nine half day workshops over a calendar year. Programmes typically start in February or March and have their final celebration workshops in November. Participation in the workshops is encouraged to ensure maximum learning and impact for the volunteer but also encourages the conversation and discussion that happens within the cohort.  To find out more about volunteering with Springboard Trust, please get in touch with our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown.


Develop and care for a full cohort of principals and volunteers, delivering a unique learning experience. Time commitment: 50-60 hours across nine workshops (SLPP) or 16 hours over 12 weeks (HPLT) Runs February to November (SLPP) or during Terms 1, 2 and 3 (HPLT) In-person, virtual or blended delivery Build your group management and leadership capabilities while bringing Springboard's programmes to life for school leaders. Facilitators work in two of our programmes – the Strategic Leadership for Principals Programme and High Performing Leadership Teams (HPLT). In the former, they work with a full cohort of six principals and volunteers, while in the latter they work with full leadership teams from a single school. While facilitating SLPP means working with principals new to Springboard, in HPLT they will be working with experienced principals (not their first Springboard programme) and their leadership teams. This presents a unique set of dynamics every time, and can be an incredibly rewarding for those who volunteer their time.   What makes a great facilitator?  Typically, facilitators we work with are middle to senior leaders in their organisations, with extensive experience in people coaching or leadership. They may also be emerging leaders looking to accelerate their development, or highly skilled individuals in this area.   The key aspects facilitator should excel in are the art of facilitation itself, the ability to bring the content to life for the participants and how they can relate it to their own unique context.  Experience working with High Performing Teams and Leadership Development helps bring the programme to life for the participants.  Facilitation of SLPP in particular, facilitators should have experience in leading teams, as well as the ability to engage large groups of people and tell stories with ease.   It is critical that facilitators have strong emotional intelligence skills as you will facilitating cohorts often in varying situations of need , and contexts you are not familiar with.  Empathy and listening skills are a must.   Please note that in most cases, we prefer Facilitators to have prior experience as a Springboard Trust Capacity Partner so they have experienced the programme from that perspective. Time requirements Facilitation volunteers for SLPP will need to volunteer 50-60 hours, including induction (for first time facilitators), across the calendar year. For HPLT, facilitators are asked to commit to up to 16 hours over a three month period. To find out more about volunteering with Springboard Trust in 2021, please get in touch with our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown.

Impact Coaches

Develop a rural principal's leadership. Time commitment: 40 hours (approx) across workshops and one-on-one sessions Runs February to November (approx) Support a principal between workshops at your own pace, and take part in a one-day course at the end Impact Coaches are a new role for Springboard volunteers, taking part in our Strategic Leadership for Rural Teaching Principals Programme (SLRTP).   They work with an assigned school principal who performs multiple roles both in their school and in their close-knit wider community. The challenges these principals face are often very different from their metropolitan counterparts, and the Impact Coach role is designed with this in mind.  What an Impact Coach does   Throughout SLRTP, Impact Coaches work with their principal in our blended learning environment, encompassing both in-person workshops and virtual sessions. These volunteers will:   Support principals with the SLRTP course  Listen to, empower and challenge principals with empathy Help principals structure their thinking and build leadership capability and capacity Ensure principals meet key milestones through the course Provide support to their principal outside the block courses that Springboard presents   This is a unique programme in New Zealand, with little to no other programming specifically working with – and for – rural teaching principals. It is a special opportunity for volunteers to make a difference in communities that need it the most.   Who makes a great Impact Coach?   Typically, our Impact Coaches are senior professionals with extensive leadership experience and who demonstrate the utmost empathy, willingness to listen and ability to challenge and support others.  They take part in SLRTP for 12 months, attending in-person and online workshops through, while also connecting with their principal directly.   Previous experience volunteering with Springboard is not required.   To find out more about volunteering with Springboard Trust in 2021, please get in touch with our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown.


Ongoing support and one-on-one coaching with school leaders. Time commitment: 10 hours (approx) Runs in each of Term 1, 2 and 3 each school year Support and feedback through a 360-degree feedback process Volunteer coaches work in the Springboard Coaching for Leadership programme, building an individual principal’s leadership insight, capability and practice – all with the goal of them successfully leading their school to better student outcomes and delivery to their strategic plan. You could be working with alumni principals, their leadership teams or their middle leaders.  What makes a good coach?  Our coaching volunteers are typically senior or middle leaders in their organisation, with extensive people coaching experience . They may also be emerging leaders, looking to accelerate their development but still have a core capability to coach and development others  Due to the advanced nature of the SCL programme, Coaches should be highly skilled in the usual areas of requirement: coaching, leadership development and planning, accredited or experienced in debriefing 360-degree surveys and analysis, as well as in-depth emotional intelligence.   Time requirements Coaching volunteers will have to spend at least 10 hours on the HPL programme, over a 90-day period (a single school term).   To find out more about volunteering with Springboard Trust in 2021, please get in touch with our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown.

Subject Matter Experts

Bespoke support and development for school leaders Time commitment: Variable, anything from an hour to ongoing long-term support Work in existing programmes, deliver single sessions or support a leadership team The Subject Matter Expert (SME) role is a flexible opportunity to support school leaders as they take on a bespoke project built around their strategic plan.   This might be assisting them at a Kickstart Your Strategy workshop, helping them review an annual plan, giving a one-hour webinar for a cohort, or simply sitting down with a principal and/or their team to help them clarify goals for the year ahead. What makes a good Subject Matter Expert? SMEs are typically senior leaders in their organisation, and have a wide range of expertise, including but not limited to:  Change management  Strategic leadership  Instructional design and leadership  Project management  Transformation projects  Coaching  Strategy analysis and refresh Marketing, branding and communication  Depending on the project, we may require more specialist skill sets for principal support. We would ideally prefer SMEs to have previously worked with Springboard as a Capacity Partner.   Time requirements Due to the variability of the work SMEs do, requirements may vary. Setting up a project usually takes 8-10 hours, while implementation may be anywhere from four hours to 50, across three to 12 months. However, this role is also ideal for those who have only an hour or two of their time to contribute. To find out more about volunteering with Springboard Trust in 2021, please get in touch with our Volunteer Manager Rebecca Brown.

Our Strategic Partners