The latest Community Life Survey, exploring levels of community cohesion and engagement in England, published on 25 July by the Department of Media, Culture and Sport shows a mixed picture of volunteering in the country. Amid positive news about fundraising and community cohesion, the survey also showed a marked drop in numbers of people volunteering.
While much of the drop is in Informal Volunteering (‘providing unpaid help as an individual to people who are not a relative’), Formal Volunteering (‘providing unpaid help through groups, clubs or organisations’ (p.3)) has flatlined, with young people in particular becoming less likely to get involved in this kind of volunteering:
Among 16-25 year olds, the proportion engaged in formal volunteering at least once a month fell from 29% in 2013-14 to 20% in 2016-17 while the proportion engaged in regular informal volunteering remained flat at 29% over this period (p.4)
The Survey doesn’t suggest reasons volunteering numbers may have fallen but it’s no secret that keeping volunteers engaged is a challenge. Between juggling donors, staff, trustees and all the other myriad aspects of non-profit management, it’s easy for volunteers to vanish without a trace.
But they shouldn’t! Even if you’re not a voluntary-focused organisation, volunteers aren’t just free helping hands. They can also provide essential services, whether they’re running a marathon or helping out with some filing. In addition to any direct work they do with you, they’re also often your best ambassadors and advocates in the wider community.
One of the motivations behind creating CiviHR was to help non-profits maintain an active and effective cohort of volunteers. That’s why User accounts for volunteers will remain free when the current pilot stage comes to an end, allowing you to work with an unlimited number of unpaid staff in CiviHR, without incurring any extra costs.
While price is important, our volunteer-friendly model goes beyond the financial. You can also track and manage the locations, hours and types of work your volunteers do, and the sources of the funding that makes their work possible. Additionally, it’s easy to see for anyone at your organisation to see who’s responsible for each volunteer. You can also generate reports on any data you enter regarding volunteers, including informative and visually-pleasing graphs and charts about any data you’ve collected.
This all reduces the administrative overhead of HR management, allowing you to focus on the things that actually matter: delivering for the communities and causes your organisation works for.