Defying Gen Y Stereotypes to Improve Volunteering Experience for Young People
13 March 2012 at 3:45 pm
A volunteer at the Greenslopes Private Hospital in Brisbane. Photo: supplied
Organisations need to move beyond traditional practices and listen to the opinions of young people in order to improve their experience and attract them to volunteering, a new report has found.
The Volunteering Queensland report, Young People as Volunteers, recommends ways in which companies can engage youth volunteers for activity and skills based volunteering, and identifies new approaches to volunteer roles through social media.
Volunteering Queensland says that the report, funded by the Queensland Government, challenges traditional views of young volunteers and paves the way for more meaningful engagement.
The report, which Volunteering Queensland says seeks to build on the findings of the 2010 report, Youth Leading Youth, details research findings, case studies and strategies organisations can implement to more effectively work together with a new generation of volunteers.
Jelenko Dragisic, chief executive of Volunteering Queensland, says the report is the first step in exploring how to enhance the quality of the experience young people have when volunteering.
“What we learned during this research is that young people want their volunteering to be flexible but structured, professional with ownership and leadership opportunities, they want to use new technologies but value both online and social interactivity, and they want opportunities where they can really make an impact.”
“Volunteer involving organisations, government and peak bodies, ourselves included, need to change the way we run our volunteer projects and programs; we need to empower young people to be the designers of the way they want to volunteer, not design it for them,” Dragisic said.
“We cannot continue to define young people by homogenous Gen Y typecasts; we must appreciate their diversity and recognise the creativity, enthusiasm and innovative ideas they bring to volunteering.”
The Young People as Volunteers report is part of a series of research Volunteering Queensland is conducting around innovative engagement in the volunteering space.