Volunteering Matters recently undertook a large scale survey of recent and current volunteers.  Nearly a third of respondents were employee volunteers whose volunteering experience had been facilitated by our Employee Volunteering team.

Their responses and the results would seem to fall into three categories: the known, the ”ooh – interesting” and the areas that have really focussed our attention.

The known:

  • Our employee volunteering service satisfies. 99% of volunteers felt well-prepared to undertake their volunteering and 96% would recommend us as a broker;
  • Our Employee Volunteers care about the community. 96% are motivated by helping people and making a difference, and 97% feel they are doing something positive or are taking part in something worthwhile …
  • … but they also improve their own  86% felt it meant they could use their existing skills and 64% also felt they had improved in these areas or developed new skills.

The ”ooh – interesting”:

  • 84% thought that volunteering opportunities bring together people from different backgrounds, and 56% had an increased sense of being part of a community as a result of their volunteering experience;

Areas we are going to work on:

  • Only 38% of volunteers felt their contributions were valued through awards and recognition, either by Volunteering Matters or their employer. Considering the significance of this as a motivating factor for continuing volunteers we want to spend time developing our thinking in this area.
  • Considering that 81% of volunteers felt motivated to volunteer because they were looking for a new challenge and 63% reported afterwards feeling an increased willingness to try new things – is there scope for us to harness this energy and motivation further?
  • Whilst 39% of respondents felt they received support to articulate the skills developed through volunteering, we think this could and should be far higher. We are currently working with the Volunteering Matters European Affairs team, as well as their partners across Europe on the The European Volunteer Inclusion project, or EuroVIP. This is a project that aims to improve international recognition of skills acquired through volunteering placements in young people aged 17 to 30, promote volunteering as a valid pathway into full-time employment.

Overall, it was a boost for us to see that our work continues to be appreciated after 25 years of service to the community and employers,  and that there’s still so much food for thought ahead.