Be inspired to volunteer this summer!

Posted over 1 year ago By ICAEW Volunteers

Take our quiz below on voluntary sector stats …and be inspired to give some of your time for others during the summer break.
The start of the summer saw the publication of two useful sets of data about volunteering and the voluntary sector: the Community Life Survey (carried out by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; and the NCVO Almanac 2019. The former is carried out annually to track trends and developments in areas that encourage social action and empower communities.  The latter gives an overview of the voluntary sector’s scope and characteristics, including its finances, workforce, and volunteering.
Quick quiz
See if you can correctly answer the following questions – based on the data in the Community Life Survey and NCVO Almanac 2019 (answers at the bottom of the page):
1. The voluntary sector’s total contribution to the UK economy in 2016/17 was…?
a. A little less than the GDP of Honduras
b. £17.1bn
c. A little more than the GDP of Cambodia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Cyprus
2. Voluntary organisations with an income of more than £1m accounted for what proportion of the sector’s income?
a. One quarter
b. Half
c. Four-fifths 
3. The distribution of voluntary organisations is…?
a. Overwhelmingly concentrated in the south
b. Broadly similar to the distribution of the population
c. Evenly split between urban and rural areas
4. How many people formally volunteered through a group, club or organisation during 2017-18?
a. 20.1m
b. 38% 
c. 64%
5. In 2018-19 the number of people formally volunteering…? 
a. Was around the same
b. Had decreased substantially
c. Had increased slightly
Tips to get over the barriers to volunteering
Three of the most common barriers to volunteering are given as:
Work commitments (49%)
Having other things to do in spare time (35%)
Looking after children (23%)
So here are some ways of overcoming these barriers:
1. Encourage your employer and/or colleagues to promote volunteering as part of the organisation’s CSR programme and/or personal/professional development. This can align work interests with volunteering, so you can improve your wellbeing without feeling that you’re compromising on your professional commitments.
2. Combine volunteering with an existing hobby or passion: find an organisation or activity that gives you the opportunity to do something you love whilst giving back to others. For example, taking part in a fundraising event at your golf club, or volunteering at an art group with young people, disabled people or those who are lonely.
3. Volunteer with the kids! The summer holidays provide a perfect opportunity to get out and about as a family.  Whether it’s litter picking at the beach, helping redecorate your local village hall, or joining other volunteers in some community gardening there are lots of ways that children of all ages can get stuck in whilst learning about the value of contributing to their community. 
Want to find out more?
Find your next volunteering opportunity at
Read more about the Community Life Survey
Quiz answers
1. All of them!
2. c. Four-fifths
3. b. Broadly similar to the distribution of the population
4. a. 20.1m and b. 38%.  64% of people volunteered at least once in 2017-18 including informally. 
5. a. Was around the same.  36% formally volunteered in 2018/ 2019