Designing Organisational Management Frameworks to Empower Episodic Volunteering

Springer Verlag
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Voluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 2021
Issue Date:
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© 2020, International Society for Third-Sector Research. Volunteers are a critical operational resource for not-for-profit organisations in the health and welfare sector. However, trends towards episodic volunteering may be a source of disruption. This study examined contemporary management beliefs and practices about episodic volunteers in the sector. A cross-sectional online survey with 186 managers and coordinators of episodic volunteers across North America and the Asia Pacific examined organisational values and beliefs about volunteers; perceived benefits and challenges of working with episodic volunteers; volunteering management. Episodic volunteers were highly beneficial to organisational profile, mission, service profile, and cost savings. Challenges include matching recruitment to workplace and skill needs; lack of paid staff to supervise and train volunteers and inadequate administrative support. There is a disjunct between the perceived value provided to the not-for-profit sector by episodic volunteers and the extent to which episodic volunteering is supported through organisational training and management practices.
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