Keeping existing volunteers top priority

Most charities regard keeping existing volunteers as more important than finding new ones, according to a poll by Volunteering England to mark the beginning of Volunteers' Week on 1 June.

The survey revealed that 86 per cent of respondents believe that their priority is building relationships with volunteers rather than searching for new recruits.

Volunteering England said this could indicate the hidden cost of volunteer recruitment.

“Good volunteer management does not come free,” said Justin Davis Smith, chief executive of Volunteering England. “It involves induction, training, often CRB checks and other administrative duties – and this may well explain why people are so keen to hang onto the volunteers they already have.”

Meanwhile, the Wales Council for Voluntary Action has reported that the Russell Commission Enhanced Millennium Volunteers initiative involved young people in 22,000 hours of volunteering for six national organisations in 2007/08, contributing an equivalent economic value of £235,000.

During the year, 452 young people aged between 16 and 24 worked for the British Red Cross, BTCV Cymru, young people’s activity organisation the Urdd, Save the Children, Mencap Cymru and the Welsh Amateur Swimming Association. Over the next 12 months, the organisations are intending to recruit a further 610 volunteers.

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