Volunteering Trends Study (2019)


Authors: Curtin University, Western Australia and Chorus

Published by: Curtin University, Western Australia, and Chorus

As the number of volunteers and volunteering roles grow around the world, shifts in characteristics and motivations of volunteers become apparent.

Through this collaborative research study, Chorus (a volunteer involving organisation that provides in-home and community support relying on staff and volunteers) partnered with Curtin University of Technology to investigate current volunteering trends. They explored trends in recruitment, retention, processes, and training of volunteers from local and international research.

It was found that time spent volunteering is decreasing but micro-volunteering is a new and popular type of volunteering that accommodates people who prefer not to be committed to an organisation or activity for a long time. Younger people volunteer to develop their skills and employability and are likely to invest more time into volunteering if there are social incentives or digital/virtual engagements. Older people volunteer to utilise their skills, engage in social engagement with the community, and altruism.

The report recommends a range of strategies including advertising benefits, providing flexible and rewarding volunteer roles, and adopting more micro-volunteering and digital programs. It further recommends tailoring of marketing towards younger adults promoting social and career benefits and targeting locations such as schools and universities. Strategies for recruiting older adults include highlighting how they can use their knowledge and skills to help others and offering reimbursements for travel. Roles that are flexible and consider time constraints are more likely to be attractive for all. The report also offers guidelines on retention of volunteers.

Read the executive summary here.