Why do we need a new Strategy?
The current NSW Volunteering Strategy will conclude in June 2020. It has been a successful framework delivering a variety of volunteering initiatives across NSW. To ensure this valuable work continues, a third strategy will be developed to demonstrate the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to support and recognise the value of the State’s volunteers and the volunteering sector.
Why is investing in volunteering important to the NSW Government?
Volunteers are the lifeblood of our communities and are vital to our State’s economy. When someone volunteers, everyone benefits. Volunteers feel happier, healthier and socially connected while communities become stronger, more resilient and inclusive.
With over 2.1 million volunteers in NSW, contributing in excess of 240 million hours annually, which has an estimated worth of over $5 billion to the economy – investing in the volunteering sector makes sense. This is why the NSW Government supports and is committed to the development of the next Volunteering Strategy.
What have been the achievements of the previous strategies?
The first NSW Volunteering Strategy 2012 – 2016 improved dignity and respect for volunteers, improved fairness and helped build sector capacity through better volunteer management, improved volunteer recognition and reduced barriers to help increase volunteer participation across the State.
The second NSW Volunteering Strategy 2016 – 2020 built on the accomplishments of the first. It focused on six priority areas and had a number of successes including the creation of the NSW Volunteer Recruitment Portal that advertises over 3000 volunteering opportunities at any one time, and an expansion of the Premier’s Volunteer Recognition Program which celebrates the contributions of thousands of volunteers annually.
What will be in the new Strategy?
The new Strategy will build on our successes to date and refocus the priorities. It will be guided by the views and ideas expressed by the NSW Volunteering Sector, volunteers and members of the community.
What will be the duration of the new strategy?
The new Strategy will be in place for 10 years to ensure the NSW Government’s sustained focus and commitment to the volunteering sector. The 10 year strategy will be flexible enough to adapt to a rapidly changing environment, while delivering initiatives that have the greatest impact in accelerating the achievement of the long term goals.
What does the new Strategy hope to achieve?
The new Strategy aims to create the best volunteering experience for all people involved. It will be guided by the views and ideas expressed by the NSW Volunteering Sector, volunteers and members of the community. The new Strategy will support the volunteering sector and NSW Government to work in partnership.
What is the anticipated timeframe for the development of the new Strategy?
It is envisaged that the third NSW Volunteering Strategy be launched in May 2020 during National Volunteer Week and will go live 1 July 2020.
Will organisations and volunteers have the opportunity to provide input into the development of the new Strategy?
Yes. The NSW Government will begin consultation with the volunteering sector and the NSW community in July 2019 until October 2019.
The NSW Government has created two online surveys so that volunteer organisations, volunteers and members of the community can have their say about what is working well, and what can be improved. Responses to the surveys will directly help us to develop the next Strategy, and influence how we invest in and work together to support the strong and innovative volunteering sector that truly makes a difference.
The surveys will close at 5pm Friday 6 September 2019.