Series of reports has shown that Volunteer Involving Organisations are still working in an environment of significant change and uncertainty ...

A series of four surveys have been carried out with Volunteer Now members between 2009- 2011. The focus has been to monitor the impact of the economic downturn and public expenditure cuts on volunteer involvement and volunteer management practices.

Overall the series of reports has aimed to provide a snap shot of the impact of the changing circumstances under which organisations involve volunteers. The reports have shown that Volunteer Involving Organisations are still working in an environment of significant change and uncertainty. However, the reports have also shown that the economic downturn and public expenditure cuts have had varying impacts.

Positive findings:

  •  There has been just under a 50% increase in organisations who could continue to support volunteer involvement in the long term (from 24% in 2010 to 42% in 2011).
  • 40% of organisations are continuing to see an increase in applications from unemployed people similar to the 2010 findings.
  • There has been a significant reduction in organisations that have given volunteers duties previously carried out by paid members of staff (from 20% to 12%).

Negative Impacts

  • Like previous reporting periods, just under half of the organisations in 2011 have experienced some sort of cuts to funding either in general or direct to volunteering.
  • 31.2% of organisations in the 2011 survey indicated that they had stopped recruiting volunteers because they do not have funding to manage volunteer involvement.

Practical Implications

  • There is a need to meet the expectations of unemployed people wishing to volunteer.
  • Clear information and support needed for volunteers receiving benefits.
  • Need to maintain volunteer management best practice.

The full 2011 report provides cross comparisons with previous survey findings and can be accessed from the Volunteer Now website; the series of previous recession reports are also available to download from our publication section.

Volunteer Now would like to thank all the organisations who have completed the series of recession surveys.

Added by
Sarah McCully