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Changing Face of

Challenges & Trends
Presented by
Sue Noble
Volunteering Victoria
ABS statistics
o Between 1995 & 2010 volunteer numbers doubled from 3.2 to 6.1 million
o However 2014 ABS statistics show a 5% decline in volunteering to 5.8 million
o However, these statistics dont show the full picture
o They only record formal volunteering
o They dont capture those people who dont self-identify as volunteers
o They dont necessarily capture new & emerging trends in volunteering
o The new definition of volunteering is more inclusive:

Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good

& without financial gain

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Definition of Volunteering
o This new definition includes:
o Formal & informal volunteering across all sectors of society
o Volunteering by individuals, as well as entities that donate employee time
o Activism (not activism that involves or incites violence or harm)
o The concept of reciprocity
o Reward or recognition for services voluntarily given
o It does not allow or include:
o Volunteers being exploited for profit
o Direct family responsibilities
o Donations of money & materials
o Activities with limited choice or in-built financial or reward outcomes e.g. compulsory educational
services, limited choice employment programs, work experience, internships, mandated court orders

Work for the Dole
o It doesnt meet the definition of volunteering, so dont call it volunteering
o You are not obliged to participate
o Its a strategic business decision
o Is it compatible with your purpose, values & priorities?
o Consider outcomes for job seekers
o Clarify what you will be required to do
o Consider resourcing/cost implications
o Negotiate hard with WfD coordinators about payment
o Consider the impact on staff, volunteers, clients & other stakeholders
o Consider risk management & legal issues

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Barriers to volunteering
Real & perceived barriers that prevent or limit volunteering
o Limited meaningful volunteering opportunities that utilise skills & knowledge
o No interest
o Regulatory barriers, including insurance, police checks etc.
o Do not have time
o Unable to make a long term commitment
o Competing time demands e.g. work & informal caring
o Do not know how to get involved
o Health problems or physical ability
o Financial cost
o Limited mobility
o No-one asked

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Why people volunteer
Volunteering is personal. Motivations differ
o Support personal goals
o Because someone they know volunteers
o Build social networks & connectedness
o For organisations, in places, at times that suit them
o Affinity with causes & issues
o Belief they can make a difference
o Sense of purpose & empowerment
o Sense of satisfaction, pride & accomplishment
o Skill utilisation, development & transfer
o Work preparedness
o Contribute & connect to the community
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Impact on volunteers
For all age groups volunteering can .........
o Support individuals empowerment & self worth
o Improve physical health & longevity
o Build general wellbeing, emotional resilience
o Improve mood & happiness
o Build satisfaction, pride, purpose, accomplishment
o Help develop new skills, expand life & work experience
o Build work & social networks, connectedness & community cohesion
o Demonstrate a volunteers motivation, values, proactivity
o Provide a pathway to economic participation
o Refer to Health & Wellbeing Information Sheet
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Volunteers are different
Volunteers are changing
o Diverse social, cultural, linguistic, religious backgrounds
o Different characteristics, motivations, understanding & experience of volunteering
o Different generations. Life-cycle & life-style changes
o More mobile & tech-savvy. Have multiple roles, experiences
o Seek options, opportunities to develop or use skills
o Seek reciprocal, collaborative, inclusive relationships
o Seek to build social networks & connectedness
o Seek organisations, causes, in places, at times that suit them
The challenge
o Leverage motivations, differences & benefits
o Address real & perceived barriers

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Trends in Volunteering
Volunteering is evolving in response to societal & technological changes
o Centrality of experience more important. Individuals are:
o Driven by personal purpose, passions & interests, rather than collective needs
o Element of reciprocity
o Seeking flexibility, new experiences,
o Exploring life & volunteering pathways
o Seeking to make a more significant contribution, to innovate, to make change
o Decline in longer term, regular volunteering commitments
o Episodic volunteering increasingly popular
o One-off, sporadic, irregular, ad hoc or spontaneous volunteering
o Shorter duration tasks, specific projects or events
o Limited organisational loyalty
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Trends in Volunteering (cont)
o Virtual volunteering
o Volunteering often initiated or actioned by social media & networks
o Crowdsourcing, includes crowdfunding
o Slacktivism
o Micro-volunteering
o Pro bono or skilled volunteering (by individuals or through employee volunteering)
o Entrepreneurial volunteering
o Voluntourism
o Timebanking (voluntary exchange of services)

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Young volunteers
o Succession planning challenge - recruiting & retaining younger volunteers
o Young people are motivated to volunteer
o But are the least likely to volunteer in the traditional way
o Attracted to & drivers of the new & emerging volunteering trends
o For some young people volunteering is a pathway to employment. It provides
work-like experiences and an opportunity to:
o Test out different careers
o Gain practical experience
o Acquire skills related to specific types of employment
o Increase social capital & soft skills
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Some barriers for young volunteers
o Limited opportunities outside of youth-specific organisations
o Limited ways to volunteer that fit with interests & lifestyles
o Limited availability of appropriate work-like volunteer roles that will enhance
o For CALD youth, limited English or a lack of understanding of Australian
volunteering culture
o Inaccessibility of volunteering opportunities (transport, cost, time impediments)
o A view that volunteering wont provide valuable work-like experience
o Uncertainty about what is expected of them as volunteers, including their rights &
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For VIOs
o Lack of capacity to engage, recruit & retain young volunteers in ways that are
resonate with them (e.g. social media, new technologies)
o Uncertainty about how to identify, engage, recruit & retain young volunteers
o Limited capacity to design & deliver work-like volunteering programs & roles
o Limited capacity to provide appropriate supervision, training & guidance to
enable volunteers to capitalize on their volunteering experience
o Lack of knowledge & capacity to work with young people with complex needs
o Limited connection to prospective employers or intermediaries.

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Volunteering challenge
Many challenges to recruit & retain volunteers in the evolving volunteering landscape
o Balance organisations & volunteers needs
o Requires more effort, negotiation, calculated risk taking
o Need to be flexible, creative, innovative & adaptive to:
o Accommodate different motivations & expectations
o Remove or minimise barriers to volunteering
o Anticipate, accommodate & respond to volunteering trends
o Support intergenerational volunteering
o Support socially inclusive volunteering
o Leverage diversity & new technologies
o Engage (not merely manage) volunteers
o Encourage people to self-identify as volunteers
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Resilience defined
o Volunteering Victorias vision:
Resilient communities & empowered & active citizens through
o Resilience: a recently emerged concept, still ill-defined
The capacity & capability to grow, to tolerate & adapt to change &
any excessive demands & stresses, & to bounce-back after an adverse
o Applied to individuals, organisations, communities
o Built 2 ways:
o Experience: What doesnt kill you makes you stronger
o Built purposefully by adaptive, capacity building activities

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Resilience defined
o Sustainable, well managed workload & resources
o Aligned strategy, structure, systems, processes
o Forward thinking, prepared
o Superior performance, higher productivity & creativity
o Access to timely, accurate, relevant information
o Embraces diversity, manage complexity
o Actively engaged, proactive, empowered, ownership
o Good personal support systems, work-life integration
o Adaptive capacity:
o Confront disruptive challenges
o Respond & adapt quickly to change

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Adaptive leadership
o Adaptive leadership
o Is enabling, not inhibiting
o Recognises & diagnoses the challenges before acting
o Calls the elephants in the room
o Builds on the past but challenges ineffective current systems & behaviours
o Relies on experimentation & diversity to help bring about change
o Recognises the need for loss & time to bring about change
o Makes hard choices & tolerates failure
o Encourages reflection & continuous learning
o Facilitates new solutions & ways of working through collaboration & participation
o Tells a story that engages, inspires & motivates
o Role of Volunteer Manager is critical

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The volunteer manager
o Expert in volunteer management. Can be paid or a volunteer
o Apply good HR principles, policies & practices
o Key player, central enabler, driver of innovation & adaptation to:
o Identify & capitalise on the motivations for volunteering
o Reduce the barriers to volunteering
o Anticipate & respond to volunteering trends & issues
o Ensure great volunteering experience
o Face significant challenges in changing environment
o Often under-valued, under-resourced, undersold
o Management recognition & support essential:
o Resources & tools to do their job
o Leadership training & development to adapt

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Supporting volunteer managers
Support for volunteer managers:
o Sector leadership & support
o Research to identify trends, build a bank of evidence
o Thought leadership & policy development
o Information, resources & tools
o Foster collaboration & networks e.g. Volunteer Management SIG
o Volunteer management training, consulting services
o Mentoring program
o Identification & promotion of good/best practice programs
o Capacity building
o Advocacy (internal & external)
o Promotion, PR, profile raising
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National & state developments
o Updated National Standards for Volunteer Involvement released during NVW 2015
o Provide good practice guidance & benchmarks to help attract, manage & retain volunteers
o Adaptable to different organisation types & different forms of volunteering
o Help improve the volunteer experience
o Help organisations manage risk & safety in their work with volunteers
o Legal resources
In Victoria
o Parliamentary Secretary for Carers & Volunteers: Gabrielle Williams
o Ministerial Advisory Council (MAC) on Volunteering. Priorities identified:
o Leadership & stewardship; valuing & positioning volunteering; supporting collaboration
o Commissioner for Senior Victorians: role of volunteering in mitigating social isolation & loneliness

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Some final words to ponder
o If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading - Lao Tzu
o If you always do what youve always done, youll always get what youve always got
o Whosoever desires constant success must change his conduct with the times -
Niccolo Machiavelli
o Change is the law of life & those who look only to the past or present are certain to
miss the future - John FG Kennedy
o Insanity: doing the same thing over & over again & expecting different results -
Albert Einstein

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