Volunteering in Scottish Charities (2012) Kathleen Doyle Research into Practice Officer email@example.com
The Charity Survey 2012: An Overview• What? The first research of its kind in Scotland; a representative survey of charities exploring volunteering.• Who? Charities delivering services and operating at local authority level or in local communities.• When? The survey was carried out between December 2011 and February 2012; 592 out of possible 1000 responded (59% response rate).• Why? Results will inform strategic policy debates and will help improve the services available to support volunteering.
Why is the Charity Survey 2012 important?• The landscape in which charities (and third sector generally) operate has been changing rapidly: • Economic - low or negative growth and public sector cuts – where charities are doing more with less. • Policy – reform of public services and increasing demand for charities to provide public services. • Legislative - proposed Community Empowerment Bill to encourage local people to do things for themselves, in part by transferring ownership of public-sector assets to local communities.• Economic, policy and legislative changes assume that local people and charities can do more; but is this a sound assumption?
SummaryVolunteers are key to driving and sustaining all local charitableactivity55% of all localcharities were supportedand run entirely byvolunteers. That is, they hadno paid staff 45% of all local charities were supported by volunteers.
SummaryLevels of volunteering remained stable for mostcharities......but larger charities and charities with paidstaff were more likely to report a decline in thenumber of people approaching to volunteer
SummaryDemand for volunteers was high 61% of charities aspired to involve more volunteers... ...but this aspiration was not something that many charities thought would happen
SummaryThe majority of charities said their volunteersdid generic activities; larger charities were morelikely to have more defined roles for theirvolunteersWord of mouth was the most popular methodused to involve volunteers; it’s also thought tobe the most effective method to find suitablevolunteers
Volunteers are key indriving and sustaining Most of these were small charities, with 80% havinglocal charitable activity less than £25,000 turnover a year. These charities tend to rely 45% Over half of all on membership (39%) or charities are run and fundraising (35%) as their supported entirely by volunteers. That is, main source of income, and there is no paid staff. less on local authority funding (7%). These charities were more 55% likely to be based in rural areas; two thirds of charities in rural areas had no paid staff, compared to 50% in urban areasNo paid staff Paid staff
There was little change in levels of volunteering incharities: over two thirds of charities said the number ofvolunteers they involved had stayed the same as theyear before 13% Similarly, the proportion 18% of people volunteering in Scotland has held steady for the last 5 years (Scottish Household Survey, 2012) 69% Decreased No change Increase
Over 7 in 10 charitiescharities (72%) reported thatThe majority of reported that the number of peopleapproaching their organisation to volunteer had stayed thethe number of people approaching thesame as the year beforeorganisation to volunteer had stayed thesame, in comparison approaching to volunteer Number of people to the previous year 7% 21% Decrease No Change Increase 72% But, some local charities were more likely than others to report a decrease...
Largercharities were more likely to report a declinein the number of people approaching theorganisation to volunteer29% 14%of larger of small charitiescharities, compared to
Charities with paid staff were also more likely toreport a decline in the number of people approachingthe organisation to volunteer... Almost 3 in 10 charities with paid staff reported a decrease Paid staff 28 63 9 No paid 14 81 5 staff Decrease No change Increase While 14% of charities with no paid staff reported a decrease
Demand forvolunteers washigh among all More than 6 in 10 charities would likecharities to see an increase in the number of volunteers involved 39% NO CHANGE 61% INCREASE But....
...charities were notoptimistic about thisactually happening Only 26% of charities think they will involve more volunteers Decrease No change Increase in the next year6 68 26 Why? Well we asked charities about the volunteer challenges they felt they would face in the next year...
51%said ‘keeping suitablevolunteers involved with us’would be a challenge, and...48% Other survey research also suggests thatsaid ‘finding suitable recruiting volunteersvolunteers’ would also be a is an important issuechallenge
When considering all the issues facing charities in Scotland today, including funding or running costs, recruitment and sustaining membership levels... ...one third of all charities felt that recruitment of volunteers was the most or second most important issue they faced.Source: External Stakeholder Research (2011) OSCR
Some charities also felt they would experiencechallenges in attracting Board Members in the next year 22% Larger charities and charities of all charities felt with paid staff were more likely ‘attracting new Board to report this: Members’ would be a One third of charities with challenge paid staff, compared to 12% with no paid staff; and 19% 27% of larger charities, compared to 14% of small charities of all charities felt ‘attracting new Board Members with the right skills’ would be a challenge
Larger charities were also more Supporting could mean many things likelikely to identify supporting advising, mentoring, listeningvolunteers as a key challenge to volunteersin the coming year.For example...Funding cuts affecting 27 support for volunteering 8 27% of larger charities felt that funding cuts would Above £25k Below £25k affect support for volunteering, in comparison to 8% of small charities
What did all charities say their volunteers do?The top 5 activities were:1: Generally helping out (78%)2: Helping to organise or run events and activities (74%)3: Doing whatever is required (61%)4: Raising money (56%)5: Committee work (52%) This also reflects the top 5 activities identified by volunteers in the Scottish Household Survey (2012)
Larger 17% of larger charitiescharities were more likely said their volunteersto report that their provide ‘direct services (e.g. meals onvolunteers carried out wheels, doing odd jobs)’, compared to 5%more defined activities of smaller charitiesFor example.... 17 5 Above £25k Below £25k
Another example of larger charities involving volunteers inmore defined activities is.... 34 12 Above £25k Below £25k One third of larger charities said their volunteers did ‘visiting, buddying or befriending’, compared to 12% of small charitiesNote: All volunteer activities and differences by annual income can be found in Table ****
Few charities said their volunteers wereinvolved in volunteer management... 18% of all charities said their volunteers helped in ‘managing, organising or coordinating other unpaid helpers’...
We asked charities what channels they hadused to attract new volunteers, and ‘word ofmouth’ was by far the most popular... 82% OSCR’s External of all charities Stakeholder Survey used it in the (2011) also suggests that previous year word of mouth was used extensively to address issues of recruiting volunteers
‘Directly asking people to help’ was also a popular method, with70%of charities having used itto attract new volunteersin the last year
Fewer charities used online Online methods could meanmethods to attract new many things like their own or others websites, or socialvolunteers.... media like facebook and twitter... 22% used a website 3% used social media
19%of all charities usedThird Sector Interfacesto attract newvolunteers But some charities were less likely to use TSIs than others: charities with no paid staff; small charities; and rural based charities. For example...
...10% of charities with no paid staff usedTSIs, compared to 30% of charities with paid staff No Paid 10% Staff Paid Staff 30%
...13% of smaller charities used TSIs to attract newvolunteers, compared to over a quarter of largercharities Below £25k 13% Above £25k 27% And...
...just over one in ten rural based charities used TSIs toattract new volunteers, compared to one quarter ofurban based charities Rural 8% Urban 24%
Which channels did charities think weremost effective in helping to find suitablevolunteers?42%said ‘word of mouth’ wasthe most effectivechannel to find suitablevolunteers 38% said ‘directly asking people’
Key questions for policyThe survey found that over half of local charities are supported andrun entirely by volunteers. Is there sufficient support (e.g. advice, learning, resources, fund ing) available to these volunteers? Are these charities providing services to meet unmet local need? And should they?
Key questions for policyThis survey and other evidence suggests that participating in formalvolunteering is not increasing... Are assumptions of increased participation underlying Public Service Reform and the proposed Community Empowerment Bill sound? Is it likely that people can and will step forward to volunteer locally?
Key questions for practiceThere is very much a traditional, formal approach to volunteer supportand management in Scotland; focusing on recruiting and retainingvolunteers in defined roles...Yet we found:• Charities aspire to involve more volunteers, but are not optimistic this will happen - perhaps because they faced challenges in finding and keeping suitable volunteers; and• The majority of charities reported their volunteers did generic activities; with larger charities tending to have more defined roles Is it time to challenge Should we focus more this approach to on volunteers’ volunteer motivations and management? interests first, then take the opportunity to build more defined roles?
Key questions for practiceWe found that word of mouth was the most popular method used toinvolve volunteers; and was also thought to be the most effective methodto find suitable volunteers What can VDS and others do to support and improve ‘word of mouth’ as a method to involve volunteers? Can online or digital services help?
What next for VDS?• Learning Services Review: in April 2013, VDS will launch its new Learning Services for volunteers and volunteer involving organisations, providing generic and tailored learning packages in a variety of formats.• We are currently developing our new VDS Research Strategy for April 2013 and beyond: VDS will be talking to individuals and organisations to feed into its development, ensuring its research is relevant, timely and useful in order to have an impact on current policy and practice.• We will develop a new Volunteer Charter in order to recognise the significant contribution of volunteering towards a wealthier, healthier, safer and stronger, smarter, and greener Scotland.
Technical Details• These slides present the top-line results• Results are based on a paper survey of 592 local charities; a random stratified sample of 1000 local charities, operating in up to two local authority areas and undertaking activities, was selected from the OSCR database• Sample is representative based on income and location• Respondents completed the survey between December 2011 and February 2012.• Where results do not sum to 100%, this may be due to computer rounding, multiple response, or the exclusion of don’t know or other categories• Results are based on all respondents unless otherwise stated• Full technical note and all data tables can be found @ www.vds.org.uk
ReferencesJura Consultants. 2011. Scottish Charities 2011. Dundee:Office of the Scottish Charity RegulatorTNS-BRMB. 2011. External Stakeholder Research 2011.Dundee: Office of the Scottish Charity RegulatorScottish Government. 2012. Scotlands People AnnualReport: Results from 2011 Scottish Household Survey.Edinburgh: Scottish Government.