Have you ever wondered what compels people to volunteer their time?
I can usually be found at my happy place in Lake Eacham, at the home of new beginnings. I’ve been a part of the FFF family for several years now and the values and mission of the organisation have come to hold a special place in my heart.
My name is Chantelle and I’m inviting you to take a deep dive with me into the ins-and-outs of volunteering and consider opening your own heart to an organisation.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has — Margaret Mead
Australia’s participation in volunteering is in decline. According to results of the Australian Bureau of Statistics 2014 General Social Survey, 31% of Aussies clocked up volunteer hours in 2014, compared with 36% in 2010. The survey provides a snapshot of our progress on wellbeing, life satisfaction and community participation. Brett Williamson, CEO of Volunteering Australia, said the rate of volunteering was a key indicator of healthy communities. Demand for volunteers continues to be greater than the number of volunteers available, so why aren’t more vollies getting on board and how can we reverse the trend?
Organisations say there are not enough suitable candidates, or they are unable to find them. Volunteers themselves indicated their biggest barriers to volunteering were work commitments, out-of-pocket expenses and administrative red tape. Non-volunteers were also found to have negative beliefs about the value of volunteering.
Together We Can Change the World
The way people want to volunteer their time in 2021 has changed. New trends in giving behaviours include episodic, group and online volunteering — people are less willing to commit to ongoing volunteer roles characterized by traditional volunteer organisations. Instead, they seek varied and short-term roles they can stop any time without consequences.
To drive volunteer participation, organisations need to leverage trends, demonstrate the impact acts of giving can have and capitalize on the reasons people DO volunteer. Busy people find the time to volunteer, because it is important enough to them to overcome their time limitations.
Volunteering Australia’s March 2021 Gender and Key Statistics indicated men and women aged 15 years and over volunteered for an organisation or group at similar rates, 30.7% and 28.5 % respectively. The most notable difference being men were more likely to cite ‘feeling obliged’ as their motivation for volunteering (11.4% compared to 7.2%). Other reasons compelling men and women to volunteer included personal satisfaction, to help others and do something worthwhile.
Become Part of the FFF Family
Those who want to give their time to help FNQ Foster Farms will encounter no out-of-pocket expenses, administrative red tape or expectation to commit to anything more than a once-off act of giving.
Whether it be a casual roadside walk and graze to stimulate the equine inmates, or remote assistance from wherever you are, all support is meaningful and greatly appreciated. You will be eagerly welcomed to the FFFfold.
If you have talents that can be of benefit, from website development to event management, or hands-on skills such as animal husbandry — fantastic! We have a need for you. If you’d like to learn skills, we need you too! We’ll support you to develop them in the area of your preference.
If it takes a villageto raise a child, a community is needed to raise up animal rescue and back rehabilitation, retraining and re-homing. Moderators run our digital platforms including the website this blog post sits on and our social media. Trainers help us move the rescues through the process. Records are kept, paddock workers are needed for fencing, mucking out and maintenance. Prizes are found for fundraisers, sausages are sizzled. The more hands-on deck, the more we can achieve together.
If you’d like to volunteer at FFF, check out the roles available. I assure you that every contribution is worthwhile. I leave you with the words of Elizabeth Andrew:
“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.”
Do you agree that organisations need to offer worthwhile volunteer roles to incentivize people to overcome their time limitations? Will you be putting time aside to clock up some volunteer hours? We would love to hear your thoughts, drop us a line in the comments. You can also connect with us on our social media channels to stay up to date with our rescue, rehabilitation, retraining and re-homing efforts.
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