Towards the end of 2022, we were delighted to announce that the Vision for Volunteering partnership had received £600,000 from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to take the project forwards. Now, we’re looking ahead to this year and beyond. This blog post explores the Vision’s story, and what we want to achieve going forwards.
The first phase of the Vision for Volunteering saw five partners (NAVCA, NCVO, The Association of Volunteer Managers, Volunteering Matters and Sport England) come together to explore what good volunteering looks like in England. We explored how we can be a catalyst for more and better volunteering over the next decade.
In developing the Vision, we brought in 5 NAVCA members to co-chair groups on different topics, and published the full Vision for Volunteering in May 2022. It identifies 5 themes: awareness and appreciation of volunteering; power; equity and inclusion; collaboration; and experimentation – and explores how volunteering must adapt and evolve in each area. We encourage all voluntary and community sector organisations to use the Vision to develop their volunteering work and strategies.
We always intended to build a volunteering movement, about volunteering for solidarity, making connections and strengthening communities. Where transactional, service-focused volunteering is included, it should be in a more balanced way. Our broad aim is that people’s experience of volunteering is better in 2032. We will focus on bigger volunteer-involving organisations, smaller grassroots organisations, and volunteers themselves.
The next phase of the project is very much about engagement and storytelling. Over time, we hope to develop a stronger vision and a refined focus, with a broader base of support and a strengthened partnership. The outcomes we hope to see are:
– People understand and are inspired by the vision
– People are committed to taking action
– Skills, knowledge, confidence to take action are increased
– People are supported by others to take action.
There are broadly four areas of work:
1) Governance and project inception: We are recruiting three new Vision roles, hosted within NCVO. We will formalise and expand the project board, and continue to search for funding for phase three.
2) Engagement and storytelling: The Vision project partners hope to listen and develop our approach through recruiting volunteer ambassadors, hosting local and regional events, communicating via our website, social media and mailing list and developing more ways to stay connected.
3) Support and resources: We would like to expand the support and resources we provide to members and wider supporters of the Vision.
4) Learning and evaluation: The next phase of the project will focus on learning and evaluation, publishing an evaluation report and what we have learnt from the project so far.
At NAVCA, we will continue to help shape the direction of the project, making sure it focuses on relational volunteering and the needs of smaller organisations. As a membership organisation, we also have the platform to be able to engage our members. In 2022, we visited members to talk about the Vision with their networks, and we hope to do more of this in 2023. We also intend to host a workshop on the Vision at our 2023 conference.
You can keep up to date with developments in the Vision for Volunteering by following us on social media, checking out the Vision website, and signing up to the Vision for Volunteering mailing list.