Volunteers in soup kitchen

A new Giving Australia report has revealed the critical role volunteers play in the success of not-for-profit organisations and the fact that they are often NFPs' most valuable resource. The report, Giving and volunteering: the nonprofit perspective, represents the most extensive research undertaken so far to uncover how NFPs drive support to their cause by engaging the community, business and philanthropic foundations.

Giving Australia 2016 project director and director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) Associate Professor Wendy Scaife said 94 per cent of NFPs have volunteers. Organisations cite "giving back to society" and "wanting to be part of something that creates impact" as their volunteers’ prime motivator.

“Nonprofit organisations are showing their appreciation for their volunteers and are investing more time and energy into recruiting them,” Professor Scaife said.

“They’re definitely realising that their organisation’s impact hinges significantly on the attitudes and commitment of their volunteers. The report shows that half have a dedicated volunteer manager and three-quarters have some sort of volunteer recognition in place, a marked increase from 54 per cent in 2005.”

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