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Volunteering strategy

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Volunteering can do more when it has support, strategic leadership and commitment from the top.


You may need to adapt your volunteer management practice during the coronavirus outbreak. For specific guidance on volunteer management and to see our latest covid-19 guidance for charities, please visit our coronavirus pages.

It’s important that the way you involve volunteers in your organisation aligns with your mission and your strategic aims. It also demonstrates, internally and externally, that the organisation takes volunteering seriously and recognises the value of the contribution it makes, it’s also crucial for attracting new volunteers and for retaining existing ones. You may decide that you’d like a separate volunteering strategy or that it works better as part of your organisational strategy. Developing a volunteering strategy that can be shared can also help you to articulate your vision for volunteering and your reasons for involving volunteers with key stakeholders and partners.

Volunteer managers

You should involve those responsible for managing volunteering in your organisation when developing your volunteering strategy. They know most about how volunteering works in your organisation than anyone else and can bring knowledge and experience from their networks too. The Association of Volunteer Managers is a useful network, for example, or the volunteer managers may also be part of a local or regional network. Involving them in the development of strategy will ensure that volunteering is better aligned with the strategic objectives of your organisation. It'll also help you consider how changes and plans might impact on the experience and operational role of your volunteers.


Ensuring volunteering is part of business and financial planning process is important as it’ll help allocate adequate resource to make sure that your objectives in your volunteering strategy can be met. This includes resource for volunteer management and support.

Review regularly

Your volunteering strategy should be reviewed regularly, at least on an annual basis. This will help make sure that it stays current and is relevant to the strategic direction of your organisation and you can respond to trends and changes in volunteering generally. It can also help you to overcome challenges and maximise opportunities that might impact on the development of volunteering in your organisation.

Page last edited Dec 17, 2020

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