8. Appendix- more on our research approach

This appendix provides further details of the survey methodology and other details about the approach to this research.


As outlined in section two, this research draws on a number of different sources. More detail can be found below:

  1. Main research findings of Time Well Spent - a national survey of 10,103 people on the volunteer experience.

This survey was completed by adults aged 18+ in Great Britain through YouGov’s panel, via an online self-completion questionnaire between 4 and 15 May 2018. The total sample achieved was 10,103 respondents. The data was weighted to reflect the national population by key demographics: age, gender, education level and social grade. The survey focuses on formal volunteering (ie volunteering through groups, clubs and organisations). More technical details can be found in Section 10 of the main Time Well Spent report.

  1. Primary research carried out specifically for this report: qualitative research was carried out specifically with volunteer involving organisations as the first stage of this follow-up report on diversity and volunteering.

The fieldwork was carried out between December 2019 and October 2020 and had several stages:

  • Digital forms: we used a digital feedback form to gain preliminary insight into how organisations approached diversity in volunteering. This form was open to all and promoted on the NCVO website and via Twitter. We also used the digital forms as a recruitment tool for the workshops and further research. The digital form was open for responses between December 2019 and April 2020 and had 69 responses in total.
  • Workshops: we ran three workshops in February-March 2020 (two in London with 41 participants in total and one in Bristol with 52 participants) lasting two hours, which combined open-ended discussion and interactive exercises for participants to share experiences and generate ideas. The purpose of these workshops was to explore how organisations approached diversity in greater detail, as well as to understand barriers, enablers and key learnings of their diversity journeys. We tried to ensure a mix of size and type of organisation at each workshop, as well as organisational approach to diversity and participant demographics. During the workshops, we also presented some of the key findings from Time Well Spent, to get participants’ responses. We used a discussion guide, based on research objectives to support and structure the workshop.
  • Phone interviews with key stakeholders: to understand more about diversity and volunteering in the sector, we identified key people and organisations with an expertise in diversity to participate in interviews. These participants were either Equality, Diversity and Inclusion specialists, belonged to organisations with good practice and understanding of diversity, or served a specific community (eg LGBTQI+, disabled or BAME communities). We conducted a total of 12 telephone and online interviews (lasting 30-45 minutes) over two rounds: the first in February with seven participants and the second in October with five participants. The second round of interviews was primarily made up of participants from LGBTQI+ organisations to address the gaps we had in the first round. We also conducted this second round of interviews in order to get an understanding of diversity in the sector during covid-19.
  • Follow-up emails: we asked respondents who previously took part in the workshops or expert interviews three follow up questions via email to get a better sense of the impact of covid-19 and anti-racism movements in 2020 and incorporated the feedback into the report. The questions were:
  1. Since March 2020, in what ways, if any, has your organisation’s approach to diversity and volunteering changed? Please include any specific examples where possible.
  2. What were the key internal or external drivers that led to those changes?
  3. Please share any key reflections or lessons learned related to your organisation’s approach to diversity and volunteering this year.

Based on the information received during fieldwork, we identified several brief case examples of good practice from respondents.

  1. A range of research and literature related to volunteering and diversity was reviewed for this report.

A summary of the literature review can be found in section two. A full list of the research and literature referenced in this report can be found below.

Research and literature

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 17 December 2020