Strengthening Rural and Urban Volunteering

Project Aims

The research sets out to explore patterns of volunteering and the challenges currently facing Volunteer Involving Organisations (VIOs), particularly those based in rural areas. There will be a strong geographical basis to the study, whereby patterns of volunteering in different areas will be identified and explored. Based on a survey and interviews with Volunteer Involving Organisations, the project will address the following key research questions:

What challenges do VIOs face in recruiting and retaining volunteers in different regions (urban/rural) and sectors (e.g. youth work, sport, etc.). Which areas and sectors are most likely to experience difficulties in recruiting and retaining volunteers?

  • What are the implications of low levels of volunteer recruitment: (a) for the operation of VIOs; and (b) for the local communities which they serve?
  • What are the routes/pathways into volunteering in different areas/sectors and how might these be strengthened?
  • What strategies have VIOs found to be most effective in attracting and retaining volunteers?
  • To what extent do VIOs avail of services provided through volunteer centres? What more can volunteer centres do to support VIOs?
  • What more could be done at a local, regional and national level to promote volunteering and support VIOs?

Project Funders

Munster Volunteer Centres

Project Duration

October 2019 - April 2020

Project Team

Dr Margaret Scanlon and Professor Fred Powell

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30