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Volunteerism in the Non-Profit Sector: Benefits for the Organisation

Posted on 07 October, 2019 at 08:55

By Caroline Kurewa


“Volunteerism is the voice of the people put into action. These actions shape and mold the present into a future of which we can all be proud.” — Helen Dyer.

My young sister studied for a three year degree programme which did not have a year set aside for work-related learning. She took it upon herself during a 3 month semester break to volunteer and learn the necessary skills with a local non-profit organisation. It was not surprising that the organisation took her on board when she graduated.


Volunteering has become a key entry point into the non-profit sector and is critical in building capacity for most organisations. According to a research carried out by The Urban Institute, “charities that use a lot of volunteers who spend a lot of hours with the organization report higher net benefits scores.” They also observed that charities benefit from giving volunteers a variety of options to contribute to the operations of the organisation. Organisations need to have a volunteering strategy and a volunteer management system to ensure alignment with the strategic objectives of your organisation.


The advantages for non-profit organisations to have volunteers include among others;

·         Organisations are able to increase their capacity to effectively transform the communities which they work with.

·         Many volunteers also bring free expertise or experience to the organisation.

·         Volunteers may provide contact with parts of the community that an organisation generally doesn’t interact with.

·         Volunteers raise awareness about your cause as well as your organisation, its profile and what you do.

·         Volunteers can bring in new opinions, ideas or approaches which can help the organisation to adapt and stay relevant. 

·         By taking on volunteers the organisation may be able to deliver their programmes in a more effective and efficient way which can help to save money and resources.


It is clear that volunteers can be the backbone of an organisation especially in cases where capacity is needed to meet programme objectives within the set time. Non-profit organisations should consider engaging volunteers through a systematic and planned volunteer strategy.


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