Volunteering New Zealand has produced an update report on the status of the volunteering sector as at May 2021. This report outlines our key findings and offers a series of recommendations for the sector’s recovery and improved resilience and preparedness for the future.
Our work draws on data collected via stakeholder feedback and a focus group with Volunteer Centres, and our own research. This report captures the challenges and opportunities faced by the volunteering sector as we move through the post-Covid-19 recovery period. We found the changes brought about by the pandemic created many challenges but also opportunities.
This report outlines our key findings and offers a series of recommendations for the sector’s recovery and improved resilience and preparedness for the future.
Some of our key findings include:
- Some older volunteers stopped volunteering, and some are prevented from volunteering because they have more life commitments (such as looking after grandchildren)
- A wave of new volunteers, across different age groups, began volunteering
- Funding is the biggest challenge for volunteer organisations
- Regional differences have become bolder, and the demographics of some local communities are changing
- Some community organisations have experienced an increase demand for their services, stretching staff and resources
- Many organisations and volunteers embraced new technologies and online ways of volunteering.
Our recommendations are that:
Volunteering New Zealand will:
- Guide the development of a National Volunteering Strategy
- Encourage greater collaboration across the sector
- Prepare the sector for new and different ways of engaging with volunteers
We are asking the sector to:
- Plan how to retain first-time post-Covid-19 volunteers
- Plan how to encourage diversity of volunteers across demographics and communities
- Prepare for future changes in the volunteering landscape, including technology changes
We are asking decision-makers to:
- Provide additional funding that supports strategic opportunities
- Commit to promote and value volunteering and volunteers
About The Author: Michelle Kitney
Chief Executive, Volunteering New Zealand
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