Posts By: Rob Jackson

We need to change people’s perceptions of volunteering

One of the age-old debates in the volunteering movement, often raised when organisations struggle to recruit volunteers, is whether we need a new word for volunteering (for example, v’s seemingly aborted campaign that we talk about favours instead) or whether we need to change the association people have with the v word. I’m firmly in… Read more »

That was the year that was

I am writing this blog in the closing conference of the European Year of Volunteering 2011 in Warsaw, Poland.  The conference focuses on how the achievements of the year can be built on for the future to ensure a lasting legacy as well as integrating it within the next two EU years, which focus on… Read more »

Some research on volunteering may do more harm than good

There is a wonderful scene in an episode of Yes Prime Minister called The Ministerial Broadcast, where Sir Humphrey and Bernard Wooley are discussing Jim Hacker’s proposal for the reintroduction of National Service. Sir Humphrey demonstrates to Bernard how, by asking two different series of questions, he can get his junior colleague to both agree to and oppose national service…. Read more »

David Blunkett’s National Volunteer Programme leaves me cold

On 31st August, David Blunkett MP launched a report calling for the creation of a new National Volunteer Programme (NVP) as a response to the recent urban riots in the UK. You can access his proposals here. Such a programme of national community service for young people isn’t new. Mr Blunkett has made such suggestions in the past. Yet this… Read more »

We have to change the way we think about, engage and report on volunteers

There has been coverage in Third Sector recently of the Third Sector Research Centre’s findings about a civic core of volunteers. If you haven’t read it, here are some of the key points: – 31% of the population provide 87% of the volunteer hours – Just under 8% of the population provide almost 50% of… Read more »

Is microvolunteering a digital knight on a white charger?

Microvolunteering. It is the latest next big thing in volunteering. By giving just a few minutes of your time to complete an action, normally via mobile technology, you can change the world. Many advocates see microvolunteering as the digital knight on a white charger come to save the damsel in distress that is ‘traditional’ volunteering…. Read more »

Is now the right time to address volunteer rights issues?

As some readers will know, I used to work for Volunteering England where, among other things, I led the secretariat for the Volunteer Rights Inquiry. The inquiry’s call to action was published in March this year and so far more than 70 organisations have signed up to the 3R promise. The call to action progress… Read more »

People-raising is needed as well as fundraising

A recent article on included the preliminary findings of the NCVO’s Leadership 20:20 Commission.  The key finding highlighted was that the biggest challenge the voluntary and community sector will face in 2020 will be funding.  Perhaps you’re not surprised by that, especially given the state of sector funding at the moment. The Voluntary Sector… Read more »