2024 Volunteer Recruitment Survey Results

  • May 31, 2024

    Posted by: Ashley Seymour

    Survey Results from Volunteer Manitoba's Volunteer Recruitment Fair:

    A check in on the volunteer sector

    At Volunteer Manitoba, our mission is to promote and support volunteerism across the province. We connect individuals with meaningful volunteer opportunities, assist non-profit organizations in building capacity, and advocate for the value of volunteering.

    By organizing events like the Volunteer Recruitment Fair, we strive to strengthen the volunteer sector and foster a culture of community engagement.

    When we set out to do a Volunteer Recuritment Fair on April 4th, we were expecting hundreds to show up, instead we ended up with well over 2000 attendees from across Winnipeg!

    It goes to show Manitobans are here to serve their community and are ready to get back involved.

    We also had over 55 organizations attend, with many others on the waiting list. Organizations that represented health care, support groups, environmental servicers, senior centres, youth groups and more, organizations were looking for like-minded community members eager to make a difference.

    The goal for this initiative was to facilitate meaningful connections among individuals and organizations, encouraging people to get back involved in the community. Additionally, we aimed to assess the state of the volunteer sector. We surveyed all attendees and volunteer engagers to gather insights into the motivations, challenges, and aspirations within our volunteer community.

    This report aims to shed light on the current state of volunteering in our community, providing valuable insights from by both potential volunteers and volunteer-engaging organizations.

    ~Volunteer Manitoba

    This report was made possible with theA close-up of a logoDescription automatically generated
    generous support of the Winnipeg Foundation.



    Survey Results: Attendees of the Volunteer Recruitment Fair

    Are you currently volunteering now?

    This question serves as a baseline to understand the current level of volunteer engagement among attendees. We have noticed that individuals aren't currently volunteering at the same volumes they used to pre-pandemic.

    We then asked: If not, why not?

    Understanding the reasons why individuals
    are not currently volunteering is crucial for
    designing effective strategies to address
    potential barriers to volunteering.

    We asked potential volunteers to select the level of flexibility they prefer in a volunteer schedule

    Looking at the results, volunteers are looking for more flexibility in their roles. Knowing preferences for flexibility, we can tailor volunteer opportunities to better suit the availability of potential volunteers.

    This question helps us assess the impact of the Volunteer Recruitment Fair on attendees. Volunteers were able to discover new roles and make meaningful connections!

    Follow Up

    Following up with non-profits after the fair is a critical step towards converting interest into action. This provides us insights into the fair's effectiveness in connecting volunteers with opportunities.

    Survey Results: Non-Profit Organizations at the Volunteer Recruitment Fair

    How long have you managed volunteers in your career?

    This question helps us understand the experience level of volunteer managers. During the pandemic many volunteer engagers were let go from their roles. Additionally, we have seen lots of turn over in the sector.

    Knowing how long a volunteer manager has been in their role assists us at Volunteer Manitoba to understand what kind of training and resources are needed to support the sector.




    What percentage of your role is dedicated to volunteer engagement?

    Understanding the allocation of time towards volunteer engagement is essential for gauging organizational priorities. This question helps quantify the importance placed on volunteer management within an organization's overall operations.






    Please indicate how your volunteer program has been impacted by the pandemic.

    The COVID-19 pandemic has had widespread effects on volunteer programs. By gathering this information, we can confirm a decrease in volunteer applications and lower retention rates as a challenge.




    What challenges has your organization encountered in managing the volunteer program post-pandemic? (Select all that apply)

    This data helps pinpoint ongoing obstacles organizations face in resuming and sustaining volunteer programs in a changed environment.

    How has your organization adapted its volunteer program to meet the challenges posed by the pandemic? (Select all that apply)

    Understanding adaptation strategies employed by organizations provides valuable insights into innovative approaches to volunteer management. This information can inform best practices and inspire new ideas for volunteer program resilience.



    Looking ahead, what changes or improvements do you envision for your volunteer program in the post-pandemic era?


    "We are hoping to recruit an additional 75 - 125 volunteers to join our program, since losing 3/4 of our volunteers during the pandemic. There's also been a shift in mindset understanding the impact the volunteers have for our organization and the extra layer of customer service they add."
    - Volunteer Engager

    "Coming out of the pandemic, our organization had to pivot to be able to accept the new volunteer ideology. Younger people are not life-long volunteers. So, appreciating and managing these 1-5-year volunteers is incredibly important in order to stay viable in the market of options available." - Volunteer Engager

    "This was such an amazing event. We used to have a volunteer coordinator role and currently do not, however our fund development events require volunteers and so this has become a default responsibility within their portfolio. Now with a full time Fund Development Manager we need to create an infrastructure to cultivate and steward volunteers just like we do with financial donors. This event scored a 10/10. I have attended fairs for over 25 years and this by far was the most successful regarding engagement. Bravo!"
    - Volunteer Engager

    "Lack of youth opportunity has really impacted our volunteer program. Hopefully management will support additional youth placements in the future."
    - Volunteer Engager


    These responses highlight organizations' proactive efforts to adapt, enhance, and modernize their volunteer programs in response to the pandemic. There's a strong focus on strategic recruitment, recognizing changing demographics, building robust infrastructure, and engaging youth to maximize volunteer impact.

    Thank you!

    The insights gathered from these responses offer valuable guidance for Volunteer Manitoba and other support organizations on what is needed in the sector moving forward.

    Did you have a good experience at the Fair? Let us know!

    For more information, please contact us at info@volunteermanitoba.ca or call 204-477-5180.


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