Volunteering in Scottish
Charities

Kathleen Doyle
kathleen.doyle@vds.org.uk
Volunteer Scotland: February 2013
The Charity Survey 2012: An Overview
• What? The first research of its kind in Scotland; a
representative survey of charit...
Why is the Charity Survey 2012 important?
• The landscape in which charities (and third sector
generally) operate has been...
Summary
Volunteers are key to driving and sustaining all local
charitable activity
•

55%

of all local

charities were su...
Summary
Levels of volunteering remained stable for
most charities...
...but larger charities and charities with
paid staff...
Summary
Demand for volunteers was high

61%
of charities aspired to
involve more
volunteers...
...but this aspiration was
...
Summary
The majority of charities said their volunteers
did generic activities; larger charities were more
likely to have ...
THE RESULTS
Volunteers are key in
driving and sustaining
local charitable activity

45%

Over half of all
charities are run and
suppor...
There was little change in levels of volunteering in
charities: over two thirds of charities said the number of
volunteers...
Over 7 in 10 charities reported (72%) reported that the
The majority of charities that the number of people
approaching th...
Larger
charities were more likely to report a decline
in the number of people approaching the
organisation to volunteer

2...
Charities with paid staff were also more likely to
report a decline in the number of people approaching
the organisation t...
Demand for
volunteers was
high among all
charities
39% NO CHANGE

Decrease

More than 6 in 10
charities would like
to see ...
...charities were not
optimistic about this
actually happening
Decrease

6%

No change

68 % No change

Increase

Only 26%...
51%
said ‘keeping suitable
volunteers involved with us’
would be a challenge, and...

48%
said ‘finding suitable
volunteer...
When considering all the issues facing
charities in Scotland today, including funding
or running costs, recruitment and su...
Some charities also felt they would experience
challenges in attracting Board Members in the next year

22%
of all chariti...
Larger charities were also more
likely to identify supporting
volunteers as a key challenge
in the coming year.

Supportin...
What did all charities say their volunteers do?
The top 5 activities were:
1: Generally helping out (78%)

2: Helping to o...
Larger

17% of larger charities
said their volunteers
provide ‘direct services
(e.g. meals on
wheels, doing odd
jobs)’, co...
Another example of larger charities involving volunteers in
more defined activities is....

34%

12%

Above £25k

Below £2...
Few charities said their volunteers were
involved in volunteer management...

18%
of all charities said their volunteers
h...
We asked charities what channels they had
used to attract new volunteers, and ‘word of
mouth’ was by far the most popular....
‘Directly asking people to help’
was also a popular method, with

70%

of charities having used it
to attract new voluntee...
Fewer charities used online
methods to attract new
volunteers....

Online methods could mean
many things like their own or...
19%
of all charities used
Third Sector Interfaces
to attract new
volunteers

But some charities were less likely to use TS...
...10% of charities with no paid staff used
TSIs, compared to 30% of charities with paid staff

No Paid Staff

Paid Staff
...
...13% of smaller charities used TSIs to attract new
volunteers, compared to over a quarter of larger
charities

Below £25...
...just over one in ten rural based charities used TSIs to
attract new volunteers, compared to one quarter of
urban based ...
Which channels did charities think were
most effective in helping to find suitable
volunteers?

42%
said ‘word of mouth’ w...
Key questions for policy
•The survey found that over half of local charities are supported and
run entirely by volunteers....
Key questions for policy
•This survey and other evidence suggests that participating in formal
volunteering is not increas...
Key questions for practice
•There is very much a traditional, formal approach to volunteer support
and management in Scotl...
Key questions for practice
•We found that word of mouth was the most popular method used to
involve volunteers; and was al...
What next for Volunteer Scotland?
• Learning Services Review: in April 2013, VDS will launch its
new Learning Services for...
Technical Details
• These slides present the top-line results
• Results are based on a paper survey of 592 local charities...
References
•Jura Consultants. 2011. Scottish Charities 2011.
Dundee: Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator
•
•TNS-BRMB....
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Final volunteering in scottish charities 2012

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Final volunteering in scottish charities 2012

  1. 1. Volunteering in Scottish Charities Kathleen Doyle kathleen.doyle@vds.org.uk Volunteer Scotland: February 2013
  2. 2. 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.
  3. 3. 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?
  4. 4. Summary Volunteers are key to driving and sustaining all local charitable activity • 55% of all local charities were supported and run entirely by volunteers. That is, they had no paid staff 45% of all local charities were supported by volunteers.
  5. 5. Summary Levels of volunteering remained stable for most charities... ...but larger charities and charities with paid staff were more likely to report a decline in the number of people approaching to volunteer
  6. 6. Summary Demand for volunteers was high 61% of charities aspired to involve more volunteers... ...but this aspiration was not something that many charities thought would happen
  7. 7. Summary The majority of charities said their volunteers did generic activities; larger charities were more likely to have more defined roles for their volunteers Word of mouth was the most popular method used to involve volunteers; it’s also thought to be the most effective method to find suitable volunteers
  8. 8. THE RESULTS
  9. 9. Volunteers are key in driving and sustaining local charitable activity 45% Over half of all charities are run and supported entirely by volunteers. That is, there is no paid staff. These charities tend to rely on membership (39%) or fundraising (35%) as their main source of income, and less on local authority funding (7%). These charities were more likely to be based in rural areas; two thirds of charities in rural areas had no paid staff, compared to 50% in urban areas 55% No paid staff Most of these were small charities, with 80% having less than £25,000 turnover a year. Paid staff
  10. 10. There was little change in levels of volunteering in charities: over two thirds of charities said the number of volunteers they involved had stayed the same as the year before Number of volunteers involved has... 13% Similarly, the proportion of people volunteering in Scotland has held steady for the last 5 years (Scottish Household Survey, 2012) 18% 69% Decreased No change Increase
  11. 11. Over 7 in 10 charities reported (72%) reported that the The majority of charities that the number of people approaching their organisation to volunteer organisation to number of people approaching the had stayed the same as the year before volunteer had stayed the same, in comparison to the previous year Number of people approaching to volunteer has… 7% 21% 72% Decrease No Change Increase But, some local charities were more likely than others to report a decrease...
  12. 12. Larger charities were more likely to report a decline in the number of people approaching the organisation to volunteer 29% 14% of larger charities, compared to of small charities
  13. 13. Charities with paid staff were also more likely to report a decline in the number of people approaching the organisation to volunteer... Almost 3 in 10 charities with paid staff reported a decrease Paid staff No paid staff 28% 63% 14% 9% 81% Decrease While 14% of charities with no paid staff reported a decrease No change 5% Increase
  14. 14. Demand for volunteers was high among all charities 39% NO CHANGE Decrease More than 6 in 10 charities would like to see an increase in the number of volunteers involved 61% INCREASE No change Increase But....
  15. 15. ...charities were not optimistic about this actually happening Decrease 6% No change 68 % No change Increase Only 26% of charities think they will involve more volunteers in the next year 26% Increase Why? Well we asked charities about the volunteer challenges they felt they would face in the next year...
  16. 16. 51% said ‘keeping suitable volunteers involved with us’ would be a challenge, and... 48% said ‘finding suitable volunteers’ would also be a challenge Other survey research also suggests that recruiting volunteers is an important issue
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. Some charities also felt they would experience challenges in attracting Board Members in the next year 22% of all charities felt ‘attracting new Board Members’ would be a challenge 19% of all charities felt ‘attracting new Board Members with the right skills’ would be a challenge Larger charities and charities with paid staff were more likely to report this:  One third of charities with paid staff, compared to 12% with no paid staff; and  27% of larger charities, compared to 14% of small charities
  19. 19. Larger charities were also more likely to identify supporting volunteers as a key challenge in the coming year. Supporting could mean many things like advising, mentoring, listening to volunteers For example... Funding cuts affecting support for volunteering Above £25k 27% 8% Below £25k 27% of larger charities felt that funding cuts would affect support for volunteering, in comparison to 8% of small charities
  20. 20. 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)
  21. 21. Larger 17% of larger charities said their volunteers provide ‘direct services (e.g. meals on wheels, doing odd jobs)’, compared to 5% of smaller charities charities were more likely to report that their volunteers carried out more defined activities For example.... 17% 5% Above £25k Below £25k
  22. 22. Another example of larger charities involving volunteers in more 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 charities Note: All volunteer activities and differences by annual income can be found in Table ****
  23. 23. Few charities said their volunteers were involved in volunteer management... 18% of all charities said their volunteers helped in ‘managing, organising or coordinating other unpaid helpers’...
  24. 24. We asked charities what channels they had used to attract new volunteers, and ‘word of mouth’ was by far the most popular... 82% of all charities used it in the previous year OSCR’s External Stakeholder Survey (2011) also suggests that word of mouth was used extensively to address issues of recruiting volunteers
  25. 25. ‘Directly asking people to help’ was also a popular method, with 70% of charities having used it to attract new volunteers in the last year
  26. 26. Fewer charities used online methods to attract new volunteers.... Online methods could mean many things like their own or others websites, or social media like facebook and twitter... 22% used a website 3% used social media
  27. 27. 19% of all charities used Third Sector Interfaces to attract new volunteers But some charities were less likely to use TSIs than others: charities with no paid staff; small charities; and rural based charities. For example...
  28. 28. ...10% of charities with no paid staff used TSIs, compared to 30% of charities with paid staff No Paid Staff Paid Staff 10% 30%
  29. 29. ...13% of smaller charities used TSIs to attract new volunteers, compared to over a quarter of larger charities Below £25k Above £25k 13% 27% And...
  30. 30. ...just over one in ten rural based charities used TSIs to attract new volunteers, compared to one quarter of urban based charities Rural Urban 8% 24%
  31. 31. Which channels did charities think were most effective in helping to find suitable volunteers? 42% said ‘word of mouth’ was the most effective channel to find suitable volunteers 38% said ‘directly asking people’
  32. 32. Key questions for policy •The survey found that over half of local charities are supported and run 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?
  33. 33. Key questions for policy •This survey and other evidence suggests that participating in formal volunteering 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?
  34. 34. Key questions for practice •There is very much a traditional, formal approach to volunteer support and management in Scotland; focusing on recruiting and retaining volunteers 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 this approach to volunteer management? Should we focus more on volunteers’ motivations and interests first, then take the opportunity to build more defined roles?
  35. 35. Key questions for practice •We found that word of mouth was the most popular method used to involve volunteers; and was also thought to be the most effective method to 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?
  36. 36. What next for Volunteer Scotland? • 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.
  37. 37. 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
  38. 38. References •Jura Consultants. 2011. Scottish Charities 2011. Dundee: Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator • •TNS-BRMB. 2011. External Stakeholder Research 2011. Dundee: Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator •Scottish Government. 2012. Scotland's People Annual Report: Results from 2011 Scottish Household Survey. Edinburgh: Scottish Government.

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