Volunteers “Satisfied” but More are Needed - Report
21 March 2012 at 2:57 pm
|Photo courtesy Good Friday Appeal|
While Australian volunteers find their experience extremely satisfying, more are needed, particularly in emergency services, according to the 2011 National Report on Volunteering.
The full version of the report has just been released by Volunteering Australia with the findings reaffirming the contribution volunteering makes to social inclusion in Australia.
Described as the largest survey of issues and trends in volunteering in Australia, the report found that more than 90 per cent of respondents said they found their volunteering experience satisfactory.
However almost 69 per cent of respondents said their organisation needs more volunteers particularly high in emergency services and sport/ physical recreation.
Volunteering Australia chief executive, Cary Pedicini, said that 75 per cent of respondents preferred to volunteer for the same organisation in the future.
“Long term volunteers are particularly important for many organisations who invest heavily in training, protecting and supporting their volunteers,” Pedicini said.
Pedicini also said the fact that 23 per cent of volunteers said that in the last three months they had not received the recognition that is most important to them suggests more work is needed to ensure volunteers are valued.
“Volunteering does not happen without investing in support resources so volunteers who commit long term are helping to ensure that investment is used to the greatest effect for the people who benefit from their generosity.”
The report also found that volunteers in Australia most commonly volunteer because of the difference they make to the community and the sense of purpose their volunteering gives them.
Meanwhile training for volunteers and managers of volunteers was said to be one of three top priorities in need of the most urgent action for organisational respondents.
Other key findings in the report include:
- The three most important things to continue volunteering were location, matching volunteering opportunities to skills and interests, and the values of the organisation they volunteer with.
- 43.2 per cent said that being accepted as a valuable team member was the most important form of recognition to their feeling valued as a volunteer.
- The majority of volunteers say they have been able to access the training they need to undertake their role effectively but approximately one in five volunteers had difficulty accessing this training.
“The high level of satisfaction was not surprising as volunteers tend to do their bit for the satisfaction of knowing they are helping others,” Pedicini said.