What It Takes

Julia Nakamura (UBC)

University of British Columbia (UBC) Doctoral Student Researcher, Julia Nakamura led the analysis of two waves of the Canadian Social Connections Survey (n=3,454).

Volunteering is a cornerstone of community and resilience in Canada, contributing significantly to the socio-economic fabric of the nation and to individual well-being. Despite the importance of volunteerism, volunteering is in decline and many non-profits report facing difficulties in recruiting and retaining volunteers. Responding to these challenges, this report offers evidence-based recommendations to revitalize volunteerism:

Recommendations for Organizations

  • Successfully Engage New & Ongoing Volunteers: Emphasizes the importance of detailed and transparent volunteer position descriptions to attract and retain volunteers.
  • Harness Momentum & Enthusiasm: Streamline volunteer onboarding processes.
  • Enhance Policies, Guidelines, and Manuals: Advocates for the consolidation and clarity ofvolunteer-related materials to ensure ease of access and understanding.
  •  Incorporate Flexibility: Highlights the need for adaptable volunteering roles to accommodatediverse schedules and commitments.
  • Incorporate Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility (IDEA): Calls for prioritizing andactively promoting IDEA in all aspects of volunteer engagement.
  • Recognize Volunteer Value: Stresses the importance of acknowledging and appreciatingvolunteers’ contributions to foster a sense of value and belonging.
  • Reduce Costs, Increase Convenience: Addresses financial and logistical barriers to volunteering,suggesting practical support measures.
  • Facilitate Positive Social Connection: Encourages initiatives to enhance the social aspects ofvolunteering, promoting community and belonging.

To learn more about this research project and its findings, view the entire body of work here:

Related Volunteerism Research

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