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Community Life survey figures for 2014-15 show unchanged rates of formal volunteering

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Today saw the release of the latest figures from the Community Life survey for 2014-15. During this time:

  • 42% of people questioned reported volunteering formally (ie through a group, club or organisation) at least once in the previous year.
  • 27% said they took part at least once a month (‘regular volunteers’).

There has been no significant change from last year’s Community Life survey results (for the period August 2013 to April 2014) which were 41% and 27% respectively.

Not all changes in figures are statistically significant – sometimes the changes can be small, which may mean that we cannot say with confidence that it is an actual, statistical change, rather than possible error.

Find out more in our volunteering stats pages.


Book your place at the Evolve conference to hear from experts about what works in impact measurement

This year’s Evolve conference – taking place on Monday 15 June – will feature a huge range of presentations, discussions, and debates on all aspects of the voluntary sector. It will also include two research-focused workshops. The session ‘Are your volunteers worth it?’, chaired by NCVO’s Head of Research Nick Ockenden, will examine the different approaches organisations have used to assess the impact of their volunteers. It will include presentations from vInspired, the Churches Conservation Trust, and Join In. Our second volunteering research workshop, chaired by IVR’s Research Manager Jurgen Grotz, will see BOND, the Charities Evaluation Service, and the RNIB discuss how to measure the impact of charities and their work. The emphasis of both will be on practical learning and lessons that attendees can put into practice, drawing on our experiences here at IVR and those of our partners.

To see these workshops and many more, you can book your place now.


New edition of impact toolkit launched

The fully updated third edition of the volunteering impact assessment toolkit is now available.

The toolkit provides practical guidance to help organisations measure the impact of volunteering and can be used by any sized organisation. The printed handbook provides step by step guidance for doing a volunteering impact assessment and can help you assess the impact of volunteering on volunteers, staff, beneficiaries/service users and the wider community.

The accompanying resource pack includes downloadable tools such as questionnaires and topic guides which can be adapted to suit your organisation and needs.

Buy the toolkit


Volunteering in the downturn: Research report launched

Today NCVO hosted an event exploring volunteering during the economic downturn chaired by Karl Wilding (Director of Public Policy, NCVO). Speakers included:

  • Lynne Berry, Chair of the Commission on the Voluntary Sector and Ageing
  • Debbie Usiskin, Vice-chair of the Association of Volunteer Managers
  • Simon Parker, Director, New Local Government Network. 

They discussed how volunteering had fared over the last few years and what might lie ahead.

The event marked the release of the report from a three-year research project, funded by the Big Lottery Fund. The research looked at volunteering across England during the downturn and drew on more than 140 interviews with volunteers, organisations that work with volunteers and local authorities. 

A summary of research and the full research report is available to download:

Two project briefing papers were also produced summarising the key issues for Volunteer Centres and Councils for Voluntary Services and for Local Authorities:

If you have any enquiries about the research please email Andy Curtis: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  



The 2013-14 Annual Return of Volunteer Centres

The Annual Return of Volunteer Centres provides crucial data on the activities of Volunteer Centres in England. The results are used by NCVO and the Volunteer Centre network to inform development work and improve practice.

We still believe that the majority of volunteering takes place at the local level and that Volunteer Centres have a crucial part in helping this to happen, perhaps now more than ever. And this survey, which we create and analyse annually, really helps us understand and advocate for this.

If you work for or run a Volunteer Centre (whether integrated or independent) and are able to provide information on its behalf, we would welcome and value your response.

Take part

You can complete the survey online – we would appreciate it if you could do this by Sunday 31st May.

If you want to prepare your answers in advance, you can download a PDF of the survey questions. Please complete the survey online rather than on the PDF.

Results from 2012/2013

We have also published the results of the 2012/13 survey today in IVR’s Evidence Bank.


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