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Can we encourage volunteering?<br />Angela Ellis Paine<br />Cumberland Lodge, 16.06.11<br />
In pursuit of a step change<br />Big Society and volunteering… <br />Giving White Paper:<br />Making it easier<br />Making...
What has gone before<br /><ul><li>Enduring interest in encouraging volunteering
New Labour:
At least 28 funded initiatives 1997-2010, with funding from £70k->£100m and lasting for 1-9 years
From range of government departments and using a range of delivery mechanisms
Common themes:</li></ul>Quantity: Increasing the numbers of people volunteering <br />Diversity: Getting a more diverse ra...
The track record<br /><ul><li>Individual programme evaluations suggest some success: </li></ul>Most (but not all) suggest ...
The track record<br /><ul><li>Little longitudinal analysis
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Angela Ellis Paine Cumberland Lodge June2011

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Angela Ellis Paine Cumberland Lodge June2011

  1. 1. Can we encourage volunteering?<br />Angela Ellis Paine<br />Cumberland Lodge, 16.06.11<br />
  2. 2. In pursuit of a step change<br />Big Society and volunteering… <br />Giving White Paper:<br />Making it easier<br />Making it more compelling<br />Ensuring it is better supported<br />Promising:<br />Facilitating, not compelling<br />Building from the bottom up<br />Developing appealing opportunities<br />A differentiated approach<br />Learning lessons from the past<br />Rhetoric and reality…<br />
  3. 3. What has gone before<br /><ul><li>Enduring interest in encouraging volunteering
  4. 4. New Labour:
  5. 5. At least 28 funded initiatives 1997-2010, with funding from £70k->£100m and lasting for 1-9 years
  6. 6. From range of government departments and using a range of delivery mechanisms
  7. 7. Common themes:</li></ul>Quantity: Increasing the numbers of people volunteering <br />Diversity: Getting a more diverse range of people to volunteer within a more diverse range of activities <br />Quality: Enhancing the quality of volunteering opportunities and volunteer involvement<br />Impact: Bringing benefits to the volunteers and to ‘communities’ <br />Partnership: Working together to deliver programme aims <br />
  8. 8. The track record<br /><ul><li>Individual programme evaluations suggest some success: </li></ul>Most (but not all) suggest continuation <br />Lots of positive activities and (potential) learning <br />Considerable impact on individual volunteers (self reported, rather than hard outcomes)<br />Some mobilisation of new and more diverse volunteers<br /><ul><li>And some challenges:</li></ul>Tension between inclusion and targets <br />Tendency to go for ‘easy options’ <br />Delivery difficulties<br />
  9. 9. The track record<br /><ul><li>Little longitudinal analysis
  10. 10. Limited evaluation or learning beyond individual programmes
  11. 11. National data on levels of volunteering suggest limited impact: levels of volunteering static
  12. 12. Failing to encourage volunteering?</li></li></ul><li>Who, why and how<br /><ul><li>Volunteering is not equal - Demographic correlates (‘dominant status)</li></ul>Different factors and theories:<br />Personal resources – human capital relates to volunteering<br />Social resources – network density and diversity<br />Ideological resources – motivations and identity<br />Contextual factors – at different scales<br />Being asked is key, and some people are more likely to be asked than others<br /><ul><li>Surveys suggest considerable latent potential- e.g. Helping Out (2007) </li></ul>54% would like to spend more time volunteering<br />40% of non- and occasional volunteers would volunteer/do more if asked<br />
  13. 13. Why not<br />Because they can’t, because they don’t want to, because no one has asked them…<br />Range of barriers:<br />Practical (e.g. CRB checks, information, formality, access, expenses)<br />Psychological/attitudinal (e.g. confidence, image of volunteering, fear of over commitment) <br />Structural <br />Focus on the practical only scratching the surface<br />
  14. 14. Is it possible?<br />Yes, but… <br />Need to move beyond the practical barriers<br />Need to find new ways to ask<br />An individual act…<br />A differentiated approach…. <br />Need to find new (or old?) ways to engage<br />Depth as well and duration…<br />Need to find new ways to support<br />Different models of volunteer ‘management’… <br />Retention as well as renewal…<br />Need new understandings<br />Multi-dimensional… <br />

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