William Angliss Institute

Australian-first calculator developed to assist volunteer recruitment

A team of Australian researchers, including Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney from William Angliss Institute, has developed an Australia-first Volunteer Convertibility Calculator to assess the likelihood of people who do not currently volunteer, and have not done so in the recent past, taking up volunteering.

The Calculator was developed based on the findings from a nationally representative survey of over 1,000 Australian volunteers and non-volunteers, assessing their motives for volunteering, individual values and attitudes, and beliefs about giving and volunteering.

The project team represents a multi-institution collaboration led by Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes (Curtin University), working with colleagues Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney (William Angliss Institute), Associate Professor Debbie Haski-Leventhal (Macquarie University), Professor Melanie Oppenheimer (Flinders University) and Professor Lucas Meijs (Erasmus University, Rotterdam).

The Volunteer Convertibility Calculator is a free resource and has been designed for Australian volunteer-involving organisations to complement their existing recruitment practices. The Calculator has been well received at various volunteering conferences across Australia, including forums held in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra.

Based on advanced analysis of the survey data, four questions in the survey effectively discriminated between volunteer and non-volunteer cohorts. These questions were used to create a predictive equation driving the Calculator. The Calculator produces a percentage likelihood of being converted to volunteering based on non-volunteer responses to the questions.

The Calculator and survey are part of a broader project that aims to understand factors that attract and prevent people from volunteering, and what can be done to help more people start volunteering in a range of sectors.

This project was made possible with funding from the Australian Research Council, and supported by our partners: Volunteering South Australia/NT, Volunteering Victoria, Volunteering WA and the WA Department of Local Government and Communities.

Associate Professor Leonie Lockstone-Binney from William Angliss Institute and Associate Professor Kirsten Holmes from Curtin University were also recipients of the Thought Leadership Award at the 2016 Volunteering Victoria State Awards.

The Award recognises research that significantly advances knowledge and the study of volunteering. This study made a new contribution by exploring the important topic of volunteer stress and burnout from the perspective of volunteer-involving organisations.

For more information about the Volunteer Convertibility Calculator or to contact the project team regarding the research conducted, please visit: tinyurl.com/volunteerconverts

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