Designing organisational management frameworks to empower episodic volunteering
Exercise Medicine Research Institute
Australian Research Council Cancer Coucil Queensland Union for International Cancer Control
ARC Number : LP150100368
© 2020, International Society for Third-Sector Research. Volunteers are a critical operational resource for not-for-profit organisations in the health and welfare sector. However, trends towards episodic volunteering may be a source of disruption. This study examined contemporary management beliefs and practices about episodic volunteers in the sector. A cross-sectional online survey with 186 managers and coordinators of episodic volunteers across North America and the Asia Pacific examined organisational values and beliefs about volunteers; perceived benefits and challenges of working with episodic volunteers; volunteering management. Episodic volunteers were highly beneficial to organisational profile, mission, service profile, and cost savings. Challenges include matching recruitment to workplace and skill needs; lack of paid staff to supervise and train volunteers and inadequate administrative support. There is a disjunct between the perceived value provided to the not-for-profit sector by episodic volunteers and the extent to which episodic volunteering is supported through organisational training and management practices.