Volunteer Recognition: developing questions for the Irish Census

The National Volunteering Strategy (2021-2025) highlights the lack of nation-wide research data on volunteering, both formal and informal. The Volunteer Recognition project will develop a definition of volunteering and a set of questions for the Irish census which will enable the Central Statistics Office to collect and disseminate data on the nature and scale of volunteering across Ireland. This will help ensure that volunteers are recognised for the important contribution they make to Irish society.

The project is based on a partnership between researchers in UCC and Cork Volunteer Centre.

Aims and Objectives 

This project sets out to develop questions for the Irish census that will generate data on levels of volunteering. The main project objectives are to:

  • set up and consult with an international panel of experts and key stakeholders;
  • develop a definition of formal and informal volunteering and produce a set of questions on volunteering;
  • test and pilot the efficacy of the questions developed;
  • produce a comprehensive report and final recommendations.
Funder & Dates

This project is funded under the New Foundations 2022 Programme from April 2023 - March 2024.

Project Team

Dr Shirley Martin (PI) (School of Applied Social Studies & ISS21), Dr Margaret Scanlon (ISS21) and Adam Lacey (Cork Volunteer Centre). For further information contact: s.martin@ucc.ie 


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

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