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People keen to volunteer but companies failing to honour government pledge

People keen to volunteer but companies failing to honour government pledge

Less than 10 per cent of people have been put off by negative press coverage, while only a third of companies offer paid time off for staff to volunteer, according to a report by Do-it.org.

Do-it.org, a digital volunteering organisation, conducted an online survey into attitudes towards volunteering to mark June’s Volunteers’ Week, questioning 1,400 adults in May this year.

It found that 41 per cent of adults volunteer more than once a week, with time pressures a significant factor, but three-quarters of people would be likely to volunteer if they could fit it around their work schedule.

Despite the Government election pledge to give those working for a big company and the public sector ‘a new workplace entitlement to Volunteering Leave for three days a year, on full pay’, two thirds of employees questioned in the survey said they were not given any paid time off to volunteer or did not know whether their office had a policy of offering this.

Other findings:

  • Two thirds of people volunteer less than once a week
  • Volunteering rates overall have increased by 10 per cent on Do-it’s 2015 survey
  • 80 per cent of people that donate their time have also donated money to charity in the last year.
  • Seven per cent of people say they have been influenced by negative press coverage of the charity sector. Of those, respondents said they will now only donate to certain charities or to local organisations without large management costs. Others said they will now only volunteer with small charities and are wary that charities may not be totally honest.

Jamie Ward-Smith, chief executive at Do-it Trust, the charity behind Do-it.org, said:

“We know many people are time poor but still keen to help out, so it’s vital that they can easily volunteer at a time that works for them. Businesses should see volunteering as an asset and a way to improve productivity and support those employees who wish to incorporate it into their working week. Likewise, if the Government decides to act on their manifesto pledge to entitle workers to paid Volunteering Leave we could see a massive uptake resulting in extra capacity for the voluntary and community sector.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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