The most common problems and challenges of volunteering include overwork, undervaluation, and stress. If your organization is facing a high turnover rate, it might be time to survey volunteers to identify common issues or problems and start solving them. Often, the hardest part of volunteering is having to return home. I know that whether I volunteered for 3 weeks or 6 months, it was never enough.
I often connected so much with the animals and staff that leaving was the hardest and most confusing thing to do. One of the main problems that volunteers face is the lack of communication between them and their volunteer organization. A good volunteer organization will be there for you from the moment you express your interest in your programs until long after you have completed your service abroad. Therefore, to avoid problems with host families, it's important to get as much information as possible from your volunteer organization before traveling abroad.
It's also very beneficial to initiate communication with the host family before arriving there (if possible), or to talk to a previous volunteer who has lived with that family. And of course, being flexible is the key to being happy. Some volunteers have complained that, instead of having the opportunity to work hard and share their skills, they spend most of the day waiting for instructions or to be given work. Or, you may find yourself in a situation where there are too many volunteers sharing a placement and there isn't enough work for everyone.
Volunteers help programs do essential work and meet necessary funding needs. People who volunteer donate ten times more money to charities than people who don't. In addition, 67% of those who volunteered said they would donate to the same non-profit organizations in which they had served. The recent VCSE sector barometer confirmed this trend and shows that prolonged levels of demand are now overwhelming charities.
As a result, the value of contracts could decrease, with the expectation of obtaining the same (or, sometimes, greater) production with practically lower funding, but many contracts already lacked sufficient funding and were not viable for charities. However, it is vital that charities can raise their voices in areas important to their mission, as this can lead to significant policy improvements and is part of the democratic process. Charities will need to find the right balance between online and offline approaches to raising funds and the way they interact with their supporters. However, it seems that digital ways of working are here to stay, and most charities should consider offering services that include in-person and digital services.
You should remember that these charities have been taking care of these animals for many years and have had a good number of volunteers coming and going. These charities are open to receiving feedback, as long as it is constructive and feasible for their capacities and resources. And while many charities have been able to capitalize on this, there seems to be a digital deficit in some parts of the sector. As demographic change progresses in the United Kingdom, charities must also continue to look for new ways to attract younger supporters and, at the same time, maintain the participation of older donors in a way that suits them best.
The VSCE sector barometer shows that 36% of charities have difficulty hiring the staff they need and cannot meet demand, as the workload of existing staff increased dramatically. There are indirect impacts on the results of charities, such as possible cuts to corporate donations or to trusts and foundations, which reduces their ability to provide grants. However, there has recently been worrying criticism of charities that engage in political promotion or comment on government policies and activities, and this risks damaging public trust in charities. Charities have always been at the forefront of fighting the initial impacts of economic and social changes.
There are areas that charities may need to review in the coming months to ensure that they have invested enough to balance the current need to provide services with future preparedness and resilience. .