Good 360
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  | 

The e-Forum on the Cost of Volunteering


Monday, 19th January 2009 at 2:21 pm
Staff Reporter
The cost of volunteering continues to be a constraint and potential barrier to community involvement according to the findings of Volunteering Australia's e-Forum.

Monday, 19th January 2009
at 2:21 pm
Staff Reporter


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
The e-Forum on the Cost of Volunteering
Monday, 19th January 2009 at 2:21 pm

The cost of volunteering continues to be a constraint and potential barrier to community involvement according to the findings of Volunteering Australia’s e-Forum.

As part of the International Volunteer Day celebrations in December an e-forum discussion on the costs associated with volunteering took place.

Volunteering Australia says while some of the comments were familiar there were new slants presented as well as some options to allay the negative impact of the costs of volunteering.

The question about whether all volunteers wish to be reimbursed was raised.

VA’s National Communications Manager, Peter Cocks says whatever solutions are found, they do not envisage that all volunteers will want to be reimbursed as they consider the costs part of their commitment to volunteering.

He says Volunteering Australia continues to raise the issue of the costs of volunteering and seek solutions.

The issues touched on in the e-forum were:

• Pensioners find the costs of volunteering hard to meet. It is known that volunteering has real benefits for health, wellbeing and social involvement. The worry caused by the impact of costs could be detrimental to pensioners continuing to volunteer and ultimately feelings of wellbeing.

• Reimbursement of costs would enable people to volunteer more often.

• A suggestion that volunteers and minimum paid employees be reimbursed for trips made at the direction of the organisation during working hours.

• The point was made that even though volunteers might be reimbursed for the cost of fuel, they will continue to make a financial contribution towards their volunteering because the costs of vehicle depreciation including insurance, registration, tires, etc. remain.

• Another cost, quite often overlooked is the cost to family. Volunteers give freely, but the cost to family is sometimes considerable. Support from government, industry and organisation could help alleviate some of the stresses on volunteer families by providing some special services or events to help families gain quality time together. While this issue has been explored through the research carried out at Latrobe University as part of Bushfire CRc it is yet to be explored widely outside the fire/emergency area.

• Volunteers have changing needs. There could be someone in their family who has lost his/her job, and a subsidy could at least help them even in a little way, deal with their crisis in life. Parking fees and phone call expenses have started to affect them too.

And finally, Volunteering Australia says it has been made aware of continuing research on the impact of the costs of volunteering. Emergency Management Australia is developing a national survey to examine the negative direct cash costs and in kind contributions that volunteers make over a 12-month period.

The Research and Planning Unit of Anglicare Sydney has carried out the first stage of this two-stage project and has designed and piloted a questionnaire on one of the Forum agencies – the Royal Volunteer Coastal Patrol.

In 2008 the Federal Government recognised the cost burden can cause people to think twice about continuing their volunteer endeavours. To allay these costs, the Australian Government topped up the Volunteer Grant Program by $15 million for the next 3 years to assist Not for Profit organisations reimburse volunteers for their costs, including fuel.

Volunteering Australia says this is a good first step.

Volunteering Australia’s 2008 National Survey showed that nearly half of all volunteers surveyed (47%) do not receive any reimbursement of their out-of-pocket expenses. 28% of organisations surveyed offer full reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses; 22% of organisations surveyed cannot afford to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses.



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

...


Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Volunteering Tasmania Forced to Close Launceston Office

Luke Michael

Thursday, 21st September 2017 at 8:25 am

Moves to Stop Volunteering at Overseas Orphanages

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 13th September 2017 at 1:54 pm

More Australians Are Giving Time Not Money

Wendy Williams

Monday, 11th September 2017 at 5:07 pm

A Shift To Volunteering in the NFP Sector

Contributor

Wednesday, 30th August 2017 at 1:18 pm

POPULAR

Red Cross Moves to Wage-Based Fundraising Model

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 16th November 2017 at 8:30 am

Disability Advocacy Group Fights to Restore State Funding

Luke Michael

Thursday, 9th November 2017 at 8:37 am

Concerns Raised Over New ACNC Board Appointments

Luke Michael

Monday, 20th November 2017 at 2:28 pm

New Same-Sex Marriage Bill Looks to Protect Faith-Based Charities

Luke Michael

Monday, 13th November 2017 at 5:25 pm

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Good 360
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Get the social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!