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Australian Researcher at World Volunteer Conference

13 January 2011 at 9:29 am
Staff Reporter
An Australian researcher will present a background paper on the trends around volunteerability and recruitability at the World Volunteer Conference in Singapore later this month.

Staff Reporter | 13 January 2011 at 9:29 am


Australian Researcher at World Volunteer Conference
13 January 2011 at 9:29 am

An Australian researcher will present a background paper on the trends around volunteerability and recruitability at the World Volunteer Conference in Singapore later this month.

NAB Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, Dr. Debbie Haski-Leventhal will present her paper at the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) conference in Singapore in 24-27 January 2011.

Dr. Debbie Haski-Leventhal’s paper looks at the recent trends in volunteering and calls for more research to help attract a new generation of volunteers.

The paper says that together with major global changes such as advanced technology, popular social media, globalisation and the rising influence of generation Y, the world of volunteering is also transforming.

It says the impact of the technological revolution and the social media led to higher levels of online volunteering while globalisation influences international volunteering.

Dr Haski-Leventhal says corporate volunteering is one of the fastest-growing areas of voluntary activity in the Western World as it is considered a win-win-win for the three main players: the company/corporation, employees and the Not for Profit organisations.

She says corporate volunteering can influence employees’ volunteerability in several ways: it may address the willingness to volunteer (through encouragement, peer pressure, and making volunteering an enjoyable experience); availability (by including volunteering as part of the workload, and allowing employees to volunteer during work hours) and capability (by supporting and training).

In her paper Dr Haski-Leventhal says corporate volunteering may also improve volunteer organisations’ recruitability: accessibility (giving employees information and access to the nonprofits); resources (financial resources and human resources by providing volunteers and other professional help) and networking.

The paper says episodic volunteering – a one-off or short-term volunteering act –
is another growing trend and volunteer-involving-organisations need to provide such opportunities alongside the traditional ways of volunteering. This is particularly important in attracting younger volunteers.

The paper also looks at e-volunteering, family volunteering and voluntourism.

Dr Haski-Leventhal says that recent trends in volunteering increase volunteerability and recruitability by combining the individual’s life obligations and pleasures with volunteering.

She says juggling between life demands such as work, family, education, friends and leisure, leaves people with limited time to give. Therefore, increasing volunteerability may be done by combining volunteering with one or more of these activities.

She says while each of these trends can be challenging to the volunteer involving organisations, it would be helpful to study them and provide opportunities to address volunteerability and recruitability, especially when striving to attract new generations of volunteers.

The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) in Singapore is hosting the 21st International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) World Volunteer Conference.

This is the first time the established biennial international conference on volunteering is held in Southeast Asia.

Dr. Debbie Haski-Leventhal conducts research on the third sector, philanthropy, and volunteerism as well as teaches executive courses on the management of volunteers. Her PhD dissertation focused on organisational socialisation of volunteers. She is a member of the research committee on volunteering in Australia and her main areas of interest are management of NPOs and volunteering. She has studied and published widely on different aspects of volunteerism, including articles on student volunteering, youth volunteering, elderly volunteering, social policy on volunteering and the impact of volunteering.

Dr Haski-Leventhal’s background paper can be downloaded at

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