A study of the recruitment, effective utilisation and retention of volunteers requires special social and economic models. In practice it also requires a particular organisational sensitivity as to the motivation for people to volunteer in the first place, what can reasonably be expected of them, and how they can be kept engaged within the normal development processes of organisational life. Large numbers of people give significant amounts of valuable time in semi-formalised working structures. The normal models and processes of Human Resource Management need modification, but can still be applicable. Governments are interested in the many benefits of a thriving voluntary sector, yet they may not have the tools to influence or develop this valuable societal resource. This paper looks at volunteering in two UK charities or NGOs in the context of a wider national and international picture. It looks at practical approaches to understanding and addressing the social trends underlying the decisions of individual women and men to do voluntary work. Key issues for organisations that use and depend on volunteers, their skills, relative professionalism and commitment will be discussed. The structures in which women and men, young and old, volunteer raise questions of opportunity and choice. The issues raised cut across disciplinary boundaries – gender, choice, public policy, the role of government and organisational management.
|Keywords:||Volunteer, Gender, Economics, Management, Policy|
Chief Executive, Chelwood Gate, Sussex, UK
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