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Volunteering Support Services (VSS) promote, resource and support volunteering in local communities across Australia. Volunteering Australia has released 'The Value of Volunteering Support Services' research project. Findings confirm the great value Volunteering Support Services add to the community.

The analysis outlined in the report provides evidence that despite an increasing demand for the services of Volunteering Support Services, government contribution has remained static.

The challenge for Volunteering Support Services will be to demonstrate the collective contribution they make to the wider community. For example, it is essential to consider the economic and social contributions of Volunteering Support Services, and their role in building social capital, community cohesion, and in the delivery of long-term and agile service provision.

In doing so, Volunteering Support Services will not only be better positioned to communicate the broad and often understated extent to which they advance community well-being and economic growth, but can also take internal stock of their stakeholder ecosystem and make better informed decisions about their operational conduct and strategic intent.

The report outlines the challenges for Volunteering Support Services in respect to short-term funding, increasing costs and overheads, staffing capacity and retention, and increasing demand for services. This includes recommendations to consider the benefits of appropriately resourcing and investing in these organisations to not only ensure their long-term sustainability, viability and success, but their value for the broader Australian community. It also highlights that there should be adequate consideration and allowance of the value of Volunteering Support Services in Government policy and planning to guarantee the best possible outcomes.

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