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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.

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. Diversity and volunteering

Screenshot 2020 12 17 093837Our third focused report on volunteering and diversity was published in December 2020. It looks at diversity and volunteering from an organisational perspective, and covers:

  • what volunteer participation looks like
  • how diversity is viewed by volunteer-involving organisations
  • organisational experiences with diversity and volunteering
  • key issues and learning
  • key considerations for volunteer-involving organisations to take forward.


Blog posts

See all posts tagged Time Well Spent

More resources

Download the questionnaire (PDF, 351KB)

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