Posts Categorized: Third Sector

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.

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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 active ageing and intergenerational solidarity next year and active citizenship in 2013.

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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.

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David Blunkett’s National Volunteer Programme leaves me cold

On 31st August, David Blunkett MP launched a reportcalling 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
proposalshere.

Such a programme of nationalcommunityservice for young people isn’t
new. Mr Blunkett has made such suggestions in the past. Yet this particular proposal leaves me
rather cold. Here’s three reasons why:

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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:

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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.

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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.

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People-raising is needed as well as fundraising

A recent article on Thirdsector.co.uk 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.

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