Trends in volunteering

NCVO’s Third Sector Foresight work is excellent, and has the added benefit of making you feel clever afterwards for having read it.

That said, their conclusion about trends in recent volunteering doesn’t bode well for the Big Society, or those seeking to become/achieve it:

The ways in which people volunteer has changed. There has been a shift towards more short term volunteering and one-off activities, and people now tend to volunteer at more than one organisation. The motivation to volunteer may become more focused on benefits to the individual rather than the community.


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

2 thoughts on “Trends in volunteering”

  1. Why doesn’t it bode well for the Big Society? Isn’t the whole point of the Big Society that everyone, young and old does there bit – even if it’s only for a short period of time? Or is the Big Society the preserve of the time rich, such as the wealthy and retired?
    Unfortunately, as I wrote ( voluntary organisations don’t seem to want to work with the new or changed model of volunteering.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Simon. Though people volunteering as a one-off is fine, it was more the idea that people volunteer because there’s something in it for themselves that concerned me. As I understand it, the Big Society idea is about people contributing to their community first and foremost.
    I absolutely agree with you that we have to make sure everyone has the opportunity to contribute, whoever they are and whatever their background. I think this starts with accepting people currently face different obstacles to participation, and ensuring any opportunities take account of that.

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