Volunteering to Rise in 2023?
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Volunteering to Rise in 2023?
by Denise Hayward, Chief Executive, Volunteer Now
The impact of the pandemic on formal volunteering in organisations is now well understood. A large number of research reports from across the UK, Ireland and the wider world have outlined the reduction in volunteers and in particular the withdrawal of older people from volunteering roles. This impact has been devastating for some organisations and indeed research from Australia shows that there has also been a negative impact on the wellbeing of those withdrawing from volunteering. However, we are beginning to see some encouraging signs of new growth and 2023 could be the year which sees the tide turning.
A new research report from Pro Bono Economics has highlighted the fact that organisations are beginning to see a change in levels of volunteer recruitment in the last few months of 2022. Opinions form a survey of the UK public in the same report also indicate that across every age group more people intend to get involved in volunteering in 2023. This is particularly marked for people in the age group 18 -34 where almost 20% said they did not currently volunteer but planned to in 2023.
So, it looks as though the tide may be turning and the question is – are we ready to receive lots of new volunteers, many of whom may be younger?
To get ready here are a few steps you can take:
- Make sure you have reviewed what you need volunteers for. Think about the roles you are offering and whether these are still what you need. Check that you have made them flexible and appealing to new volunteers. Think about what the volunteers need as well as what you need.
- Are you linked in to Be Collective on Volunteer Now’s website to promote your roles? For more details, please contact email@example.com
- Have your information pack ready to go in an electronic form. People expect a quick response when they step forward to volunteer.
- Think about building back with quality– consider using the framework of Investing in Volunteers to make sure your volunteer programme is focussed on the volunteer experience and will deliver for your organisation. Volunteer Now is running an information session on Investing in Volunteers on 2 February 2023. Later in February we will also be brining you information on Volunteer Friendly, a quality award for smaller organisations which will soon be available in Northern Ireland.
- Finally, remember the better the experience the volunteers have the more likely they are to keep coming back and sharing their positive experience with others. Make sure that your team have the right skills to look after your volunteers. Volunteer Now is offering some discounted online training on Attracting & Selecting Volunteers and Managing & Motivating Volunteers. For more details see here.