UK Civil Society Almanac 2015 /
Motivations and barriers to volunteering

People give multiple reasons for volunteering

Among those who had formally volunteered at least once in the last 12 months, the most frequent reasons given for volunteering were: to improve things/help people (59%) and that the cause was important to me (40%). Less frequently mentioned reasons included: to get on in my career (10%); feeling there was no one else to do it (9%); and to get a recognised qualification (3%).

Reasons for formal volunteering, 2013/14 (% of respondents)
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Source: Community Life survey 2013/14

People stop volunteering because of changing circumstances and practical reasons

Around a fifth (22%) of those who had not formally volunteered in the last 12 months had done so at some point within the last five years. By far the most commonly cited reason for respondents to stop volunteering was lack of time due to changing home/work circumstances (48%). The least frequently mentioned were issues relating to volunteer management, including not feeling that their efforts were always appreciated, over-bureaucracy of volunteering, bad organisation of the group/club/organisation and not getting asked to do the things they’d like to do.

Reasons for stopping volunteering, 2013/14 (% of respondents)
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Source: Community Life survey 2013/14

The main reason people give for not volunteering is paid work

 The main reason that respondents gave for not formally volunteering on a regular basis was work commitments (59%). However, again, home commitments was a frequently cited barrier (30%). Lack of awareness of volunteering opportunities was also mentioned by some, with 19% citing lack of awareness of opportunities and 14% citing lack of awareness of groups that needed help.

Barriers to formal volunteering, 2013/14 (% of respondents)
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Source: Community Life survey 2013/14
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UK Civil Society Almanac 2015 / The Voluntary Sector /Volunteers and workforce /Volunteering

Published: 04-06-2015

https://data.ncvo.org.uk/a/almanac15/motivations-and-barriers-to-volunteering/