A shift to volunteering in the NFP sector

Friday, August 18, 2017

Australia is a nation of volunteers. According to the latest Census results, almost one in five (19%) Australians volunteer through an organisation or group, which equates to 3.6 million Australians and is an increase of 2% since the 2011 Census. Our Australian Community Trends Report showed that this increases to 1 in 3 (34%) among Australians who give financially to charitable organisations.

There is an increasing desire of Australians to be involved in charitable organisations in an experiential way. This is particularly true among young people, who desire to go on a journey, have a tangible experience and develop a partnership, not just a transactional relationship of donating money and the charity does the work. The ability of an organisation to engage a donor on multiple levels and take them on a journey can increase loyalty and generosity towards the organisation. When Australians give of their time not just their money, there is an increasing sense of partnership and advocacy with the organisation they are engaging with.

Key motivators for volunteering

When it comes to volunteering, responsibility and satisfaction are the key motivators for volunteers with more than half (51%) indicating that they do so because of the feeling they get when they volunteer, or because they feel it is their responsibility to give back to the community (51%). Almost half (49%) are also motivated by their desire to make the world a better place.

Regular Vs. one-off

Australian charitable givers are volunteering more regularely than just a one-off. 61% of respondents indicated that they regularly give of their time, helping out once a month (24%) or at least a few times a year (37%). Two in five (39%) volunteer on a more sporadic basis with one-off activities such as Clean up Australia Day.

Time-poor students and young workers are more commonly participating in once-off activities while the older generations in retirement are more likely to volunteer very regularly for one or more charities. 35% of the Baby Boomers and 40% of Australians from the Builder generation who are charitable givers volunteer regularly for one or more charities. This compares to just 13% of Gen Y and 21% of Gen X. These young generations are more likely to participate in on-off activities instead of regularly volunteering (47% Gen Y and 41% Gen X).

How charities can engage consistent volunteers

The below mind-map shows some of the key strategies not-for-profits can use to engage consistent volunteers.


The challenge recognised by charitable organisations is the time and administration costs incurred with the management of volunteers. Some charities find it challenging to accommodate volunteers within their operations while others rely heavily on volunteers for the execution of their services or programs. Overall, the sector recognises that if it can navigate the challenges, there the countless opportunities for everyday Australians to both give back and have their own lives enriched through voluntary engagement with the not-for-profit sector.


Results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,510 Australians who give financially to charitable organisations at least once per year (80% of the total Australian population), as well as six focus groups and 14 expert interviews. Research conducted in September 2016.

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


residents research services language NSW story work mover and shaker father's day ease of travel trend tuesday publication 2016 census organisations cultural diveristy growth poor volunteers high density living culture news online teach shifts 1975 Scouts millenials Vocational education healthy future networking church parents 2014 annual income wedding going out local Kirsten Brewer bondi pyrmont Births facts men Crime Rates Tuesday Trend award contiki Northern Territory potts point student hills employment sydneysiders Christmas presents urban future national private wealth leadership workshop finance sector state Aussie in depth interviews REIV National Conference FPA CBD spirituality keynote speaker summer equip NFP event baby names australia report education System's Architect SA typical australian McCrindle Speakers australian communities trends report interactive conference speaker house millionth celebration jobs emerging generations professional collaborative seasons innovative forum domestic Word Up Australian communities population map ideas property employers commute wealth distribution professional services earnings trends of 2017 live the dream 23 million transport cooking households Canberra cartodb shopper's pick ageing population aged care puzzle house price rise australian community trends report grandparents families sydney speaker clothing Gen X speakers educated mateship stay home vegemite house prices perth Wodonga dare to dream Bathburst entrepreneurial village case study resource personal growth rising house prices community engagement society trends program pharmacies Skilling wealth kate middleton participants train australia social issues sector wide study know the times communities teleworking dessert social life alpha office space Wellington balance debt 40 million sports marriages university friends Aussies skills NT mythbusting manly hello fresh English students Research Director royal baby teachers TEDx storytelling analysis tuesday prince george debate sentiments Real Estate Institute of Victoria mccrindle tea eliane investment baby names report australian communities forum financial planning gig economy rental stress demographic trends rain Duchess of Cambridge etiquette Tuesday Trends grave decision Queensland: QLD research visualisation hobart Social Trend brand schools students water property market cultural diversity house price New Zealand TDE household conference presentation the hills video investor rule keeper demography trends of 2016 research report Christmas lunch financial fears mccrindle in the media nfp DIY baby name trends city poker master 24 million moderators guide Generation X happiness national wealth suburban living woolworths daily telegraph young people public holiday dream hills shire cica data visualisation PSI offenders research data omnibus future of shopping long weekend land of the middle class urban taskforce Christchurch chairty statistics workshop google entrepreneurs of today public speaking IT Specialists TED builders anzac 2012 volunteer proactive shbc lalor park blaxland sydneysider middle class new office speaker child care customer geomapping aged care cash EFF media release training baby boom wealth and income distribution optus Hills Shire Council meals NBRS Architecture relational ferry average Australian Financial Planning Week South Australia media environment sydney event high density group rich daily commute tv education sector renter of the future Northern Beaches Christian School google for education REIV Conference leadership cost educhat business event 1994 technology shopping centre home owner wolloomooloo cold SRE wealth and income Australian schools emerging technologies 2016 census results cars holidays vegetarian new york times winter blues affordability belief Caregiver education future average aussie breakfast social lives learner Christmas season social change list SMART identity housing trends Geoff Brailey social impact CPI workplace socialising coffee future proof wages crime royal influence goal Australian Census presentation mining boom keynote Australian demographics moreton bay spend authenticity bus national crime rates qualitative research mythbusters food Merry Christmas school students weather intern Australian Population car small business marriage marrickville plans Engineering Manager financial Adelaide Gen Y tableau internships communicate ACF17 trades Myth menai fresh royal family ultimo Northern Beaches divorce the australian dream twentyseventeen children GPO panel real budget social commentator screenage social trends pharmacy Macquarie University conferences speakers pack Work place christianity housing market rent world youth day ACF 2016 socialites parenting year 7 emerging trends Hornsby Shire Council gen alpha stats dreaming australian social research growing population relevant Australian Dream 2016 Australian Communities Trends generational trends home ownership census results Melbourne culturally diverse Sydney Hills Business Chamber Australian Home goals mortgage micro apartments 2013 social media ACT Education Future Forum capital cities holiday sydney metro NEETs demographic mccrindle research criminal social the hills shire micro university degree consumer priorities marketing outsourcing cloudy days teaching shopping australians staying home more future-proof The Daily Edition social enquiry couple tea owning a home youth unemployment commuters TAS research pack workforce follow income school #censusfail women gen z population milestone sydney hills generation Z australian sunny days Netflix sydneycity renting results overcast earning impact 1968 baby names forecast megatrends life hopes January 26th Deaths bureau toys communications baby name predictions non profit February 16 rise of local thrive online shopping global post rationalism energy faux-cilise careers politics schools ethnography professional development staff Western Australia 2015 JOMO organisational culture litter Australia street population names faux-ciliser cancelling plans Assistant Store Manager Sydney keynote speaker ipswich Australian community trends social researcher "know the times" census fail in the media data Australia Day 2017 world staying in media activity suburb community baby personalities data analyst economy thought leadership research the average aussie weekly earnings paying to work social commentary Andrew Duffin community event trends high density apartments focus groups insight faith education future report global financial crisis Royals Res Vis work mates housing affordability future of work Australian Bureau of Statistics census 2016 trends analyst tips 1980 education research selfie 2017 engage princess charlotte communication hornsby mobile darwin Australian Trends recap logan Channel 7 career purpose report internship futurist professional presenters innovation home repayments Financial Planning Association newspaper mother's day narcissism wage New South Wales ACF2017 TED talk Charlotte suburbs market research social research quote social analysis faux-cilising retirement victoria generations engagement travelling Research Executive Financial Planning Association of Australia Sydney teacher Wagga Wagga learning styles generation Territory millennials census data Valentine’s Day salary WA Population Clock charities royal demographic transformations work-life baby boomers office opening entertainment Australian Families 2020 baby name Queensland school satisfaction family researcher fears consumerism VIC brisbane survey design casual Channel Seven ageing Kiwi infographics deloitte average sydneysider optus my business awards change cost of living New Zeland travel neutral bay property price visualisation optimistic social researchers living local communities survey experience events SMSF sunburnt country medicine Do It Yourself gold coast environmental scanning trend forecasting cancel plans define Real Estate motivate urban living index responsive christian infographic wall focus group financial dreams presentations digital gig supply and demand financial future local community dreams census greatness FOMO Tasmania year 12 workplace culture high school jobs of the future Northern beaches Event entrepreneur public speaker sector wide states leader buildings ACF friendship award winner townhouses Australia Day The ABC of XYZ business index economic media commentary James Ward eliane miles ashley mckenzie visual business performance gender tertiary education volunteering generation alpha internet not-for-profit society showreel monarchy sun infographic apartment collaboration low density future of education VET 10 years 24,000,000 changing face of sydney NBRS increasing densification norwest the great screenage ashley fell charity easter volunteering data population growth product financial independence Australians area learn conference unaffordable affordable brand experience DESTEL meetings Love World Water Day HSC curiosity winter easy rider government money office housing growth social shifts the changing face of care support Generation Y global generations insights youth cancelling event urban living slideshare Mark McCrindle earn ABS not for profit investing click VET sector safe tattoos mccrindle aussie culture resilience waverton crows nest demographics christmas choice workers divorce rate unemployment graphs learning acf15 apartments housing mentor huffington post capital city demographer snapshot religion professional speaker lifestyle group session study wellbeing sustainable future proofing challenge young australians brands