Motivators and barriers to volunteering – City of London Research summary
Tempo Time Credits conducted research on volunteering in The City of London for the City of London Corporation. The research aimed to identify the demographics of volunteers and non-volunteers and the factors that attract or deter them from formal and informal volunteering. It also looked at how Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs) in and near to the City of London attract and retain volunteers. The findings of the research will guide decision-makers in how to support the voluntary and community sector in The City of London.
Tempo’s analysis was conducted using data gathered from two main sources, namely the Volunteering in The City of London Residents Survey 2023 and the Volunteering in The City of London Organisations Survey 2023.
Additionally, we gathered “narrative” data through community engagement events held at the Portsoken Community Centre, which was attended by 21 individuals, and the Golden Lane Estate, which was attended by 41 individuals. Narrative was recorded through community mapping activities and conversations with residents which was facilitated by Tempo Time Credits staff.
In total, Tempo received 120 responses to the Volunteering in the City of London Residents survey and 12 responses to the Volunteering in the City of London Community Organisation survey.
Report analysis, findings and recommendations
In summary, the research findings suggest that the City Corporation can undertake several actions such as:
- enhancing communication,
- providing support and training to volunteers and VIOS,
- bringing together communities from across the City of London,
- and engaging young people
It is noteworthy that the research has revealed that residents are keen to contribute to their community, even those who reported no longer volunteering on a formal basis expressed a desire to do so again. By offering additional support to VIOS, the City of London Corporation can play a crucial role in supporting and nurturing the voluntary sector. Overall, the research highlights the potential for greater community involvement in The City of London and provides guidance for enhancing and expanding volunteering opportunities in the future.
Tempo’s key recommendations for meeting the needs of the residents and community organisations in The City of London, based on findings from consultation with the community, drawing from the literature review findings and their expertise and experience in the voluntary sector are as follows:
Create an online platform to showcase volunteer opportunities in the City of London.
- Share volunteer opportunities on The City Corporation website and/or social media platforms.
- The City Corporation could also work with VIOS to promote volunteer opportunities to the wider community through local events, newsletters, or other marketing strategies.
Support & Training
- Training on topics such as GDPR, safeguarding, first aid, manual handling, equality, and diversity can. greatly improve an organisation’s efficiency in running a volunteer programme and ensure they operate appropriately and legally.
- Supporting VIOS to record volunteer time, in turn, will support funding opportunities, sustainability and capacity building.
- Assess training needs, provide funding, collaborate with training organisations, offer ongoing support and monitor progress.
- Celebrating a thriving voluntary sector in the City of London could inspire and motivate communities to work together.
- Recognise, reward and celebrate the contributions of volunteers.
- City Corporation led opportunities for volunteers to engage in regular events and activities and facilitated team building and learning sessions. Respondents also suggested offering various social gatherings throughout the year. As well as creating more opportunities to bring people together across the city.
- Use Time Credits to recognise volunteers‘ time.
Tempo’s findings highlighted that very few young people are currently engaging in volunteering activities. The following could support the engagement of more young people in the City of London:-
- Emphasis the benefits.
- Use social media.
- Collaborate with schools and universities.
- Make it easy to volunteer, offer unique experiences and create whole-family opportunities.
If you would like to know more about the findings in the research or would like Tempo to conduct a similar research project in your area, get in touch with our team.