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Time well spent: A national survey on the volunteering experience

coverTime Well Spent is a major new report into the volunteering experience published by NCVO in January 2019. It is the result of a national survey carried out through YouGov's panel (10,000+ respondents).

The survey focuses on volunteering through groups, clubs and organisations and includes data on recent volunteers, but also lapsed volunteers and non-volunteers.

The aims of the survey were to: 

  • gain a rounder view of the different ways people get involved
  • look at how volunteering fits into people’s lives and the impact it has on them
  • understand people’s experiences across the volunteer journey
  • consider what a quality volunteer experience looks like
  • explore how to better engage potential volunteers.

Read the report


Al!ve Network webinar

On 1 October 2019, NCVO research manager Amy McGarvey and volunteering development manager Shaun Delaney presented findings from Time Well Spent in a webinar hosted by the Al!ve Network, a national membership organisation of leaders and professionals in volunteer engagement in the USA.

Launch event

Watch the Time Well Spent launch event, streamed live on 25 January 2019.

Additional reports

Following the launch of the main Time Well Spent report, we are releasing a series of shorter reports focusing on key themes raised by Time Well Spent. The aim of these reports is to explore specific areas in more detail, building on the survey findings and drawing on both new and existing research. 

1. Employer-supported volunteering

ESVPublished in June 2019, the first of our focused reports digging deeper into some key themes from Time Well Spent looks into the area of employer-supported volunteering (ESV). For this report we worked in partnership with the Corporate Volunteering Network (CVN), a peer network of charities and brokers involved in ESV.

This report aims to provide an updated picture of ESV since the previous research in this area carried out in 2015. We wanted to know how things had progressed, and what have been the effects of the changing volunteering landscape. We also wanted to shed more light on the volunteer perspective, as previous research has focused more on the relationships between the organisations involved in managing and delivering ESV.

Download the report (PDF, 1.5MB)

2. Volunteering in public services

ThumbnailOur second focused, on volunteering in public services, was published in January 2020. It's focused specifically on where volunteers are involved directly by public sector organisations that are funded by government to provide services, and explores topics including volunteer motivations and relationships with paid staff.

3. Volunteering and diversity

Our third focused report will be on volunteering and diversity. We will be looking at this area in more detail than previous themes, given its breadth and complexity, and we will be looking at this issue from different perspectives. For the first stage we want to hear from organisations – what they’re doing, their aims and priorities, as well as their experiences: tell us about diversity and volunteering in your organisation by filling out this short form. We will then do more focused research engaging others (eg volunteers from specific groups or non-volunteers), which will be informed by what comes out in the first stage. The report for the first stage will be released later in Spring 2020, with further activities during the rest of the year. Any questions or input for this research, please email Amy McGarvey at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Blog posts

See all posts tagged Time Well Spent

More resources

Download the questionnaire (PDF, 351KB)

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