Incentives to volunteer 'could be dangerous'

Charities could be breeding a generation that volunteers only in return for incentives, according to the director of the Association of Volunteer Managers.

Sean Cobley made the claim at a debate hosted by Volunteering England this week.

"I don't think there is necessarily anything wrong with attracting people through incentives but we need to look carefully at how using them affects the integrity of volunteering," he said.

"If people volunteer only for incentives, it has gone too far. You can't say you are offering your time for free if you get a concert ticket for just four hours of volunteering," he added.

Cobley was referring to an initiative by Orange RockCorps, which uses the offer of concert tickets to inspire young people to volunteer.

Stephen Greene, chief executive of RockCorps, said there was a danger that people would begin to expect incentives. But a bigger worry would be if community needs were ignored, he said.

"By far the biggest danger is not being able to present community needs in a way that young people can engage with," he said. "Our challenge should be to make opportunities that young people want to get involved in, not to argue about why they are doing it."

John Bateman, chief executive of youth work charity UK Youth, said people were motivated to volunteer by their own interests and passions and there was nothing wrong with offering other forms of incentive. The difficulty was in encouraging long-term participation, he added.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +

Latest Jobs

RSS Feed

Third Sector Insight

Sponsored webcasts, surveys and expert reports from Third Sector partners

Markel

Expert Hub

Insurance advice from Markel

Cyber and data security - how prepared is your charity?

With a 35 per cent rise in instances of data breaches in Q2 and Q3 last year, charities must take cyber security seriously

Third Sector Logo

Get our bulletins. Read more articles. Join a growing community of Third Sector professionals

Register now