Diversity in volunteering
A diverse volunteer team is a great strength. This page explains the benefits of new perspectives and diverse lived experiences to support communities.
Difference is strength
Volunteers come from all walks of life. They are crucial to the health, wellbeing and resilience of communities across NSW.
When volunteering reflects the diversity of culture, language, age, gender, ability, income and education levels of a community, it builds trust and better reflects the vibrant nature of the communities we live in.
The ripple effect of diversity makes it even more worthwhile: an inclusive and diverse volunteer involving organisation is welcoming to all, which encourages others to volunteer.
Innovating through diversity
Volunteering must respond to the diversity of communities and the challenge of distance that exists in rural and regional areas.
Creative and innovative solutions over the next decade will need to be developed to respond to changing demographics and needs.
The wide variation in volunteer roles means a ‘one size fits all’ approach is not appropriate in all circumstances.
Accessible and inclusive volunteering
Some volunteering initiatives will directly target areas to make volunteering as accessible and inclusive as it can be for everyone.
This may mean targeted investment in volunteering programs, removing barriers to participation.
The NSW Government will work with strategic partners to ensure that anyone interested in getting involved through volunteering is able to do so.
The diversity statistics
Different types of volunteering are more common than others depending on life stage, age, gender, cultural background, religious group, income and education.
People from culturally and linguistically diverse communities often volunteer informally in their community rather than formally through an organisation.
- 31% of people whose main language is English volunteer formally (through an organisation), compared to 18.9% of people whose main language is another language.
- In relation to informal volunteering, 34.5% of people whose main language is English volunteer informally, compared to 27.3% of people whose main language is another language
You can learn more about multicultural volunteering in the Multicultural Volunteering report.
The State of Volunteering report found that:
- 4.4 million NSW residents also gave of their time informally to other non-household or non-family members in 2020, through acts such as domestic work, transport and child-care.
- 87.6% of NSW residents aged 18-24 volunteered in 2020 – over 640,000 youth in total.
- 82.4% of volunteer-involving organisations relied on volunteers aged over 65 years old.
- 49.6%of volunteer-involving organisations included skilled professionals among the ranks of their volunteers.
- 30.3% of volunteers donated their time through informal volunteering (without organisational support) with 59.5% of volunteers stating they volunteered both formally and informally.
- 47.5% of volunteering occurred on the ground in local communities
- 33.4% of volunteering was undertaken either from home or online.