Nine out of ten voluntary organisations believe the UK has developed a 'compensation culture', according to new research produced for the ChangeUp volunteering hub.
Initial findings from Volunteering England research to be published in the new year suggest that two-thirds of voluntary organisations consider risk to be a growing problem.
"Nearly all the major social movements in our history have been started by volunteers who were willing to step out of line and take risks in pursuit of a high ideal," Dr Justin Davis Smith, deputy chief executive of Volunteering England, told a risk management conference earlier this month. "Yet parts of the volunteer movement are increasingly responding by seeking to eliminate risk from their work."
A sharp increase in insurance premiums has contributed to concerns, Davis Smith suggested.
Three-quarters of the voluntary organisations surveyed by Volunteering England reported a rise in their premiums.
"One organisation said its public liability insurance had gone up from £8,000 in 1999 to £42,000 in 2005, an increase of 400 per cent in six years," Davis Smith added.