The changing and non-changing faces of volunteering

This bulletin summarises findings from the ‘Helping Out’ study carried out in 2006-07. The ‘Helping out’ study and report provided a new evidence base about people’s volunteering in England. This bulletin focuses on exploring people’s histories and pathways of volunteering and issues such as recruitment of new volunteers and retention of current volunteers. It seeks to identify the characteristics of people moving in and out of volunteering and those that stay and become long term volunteers.

The study looked at people who had volunteered for different lengths of time and found that the profile of new and longstanding volunteers differ, and that there is a relationship between how long someone has volunteered and the amount of volunteering they do and the regularity of their volunteering.

The bulletin highlights the importance of long-standing volunteers to volunteer-involving organisations, as this group is the majority and the most active. It also concludes that it is important to look at recruitment of new volunteers if the volunteering sector is to expand.

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