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Volunteering Research

The brief

The Association for Project Management (APM) has 750 volunteers performing a variety of tasks. APM wanted to conduct a review of its current approach to governance and management of its volunteering efforts.

The aims include giving clarity to volunteers in terms of their roles, commitment, accountability and opportunities, as well as to help APM attract a greater, more diverse volunteer base that will support its community advocacy and learning and development work.  

The approach

Shift conducted a multi-stage research programme. To start, we conducted four 60-minute interviews with APM staff to obtain a full understanding of volunteering for APM and its key challenges, to inform the following research stages.

Following this, Shift created a comprehensive desk research exercise, followed by three 90-minute online focus groups. The final stage was an online questionnaire, consisting of 35 questions, including 6 open questions, which was sent to APM’s volunteers and those members who didn’t volunteer.

The value

Through this research, APM was able to gain clarity on their current volunteering practices, and an in-depth understanding of key areas – including barriers and motivations to volunteering, the APM volunteer experience, what the purpose of APM volunteering is, and identity and diversity surrounding volunteering.

These findings will support APM’s continued review to develop their volunteering efforts, and demonstrate their ongoing commitments to involving their members and volunteers in the development of key areas within the organisation.