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Promoting Diversity in Volunteering

In this blog, Community Southwark's work experience student, Kai, looks into why diversity can help community and voluntary groups thrive. 

In this blog, Community Southwark’s work experience student, Kai, looks into why diversity can help community and voluntary groups thrive.

Diversity is an essential aspect of any organisation that needs to be considered when looking into volunteering. However, organisations often overlook this aspect because they are unaware of its importance. Instead, they need to be promoting diversity among volunteers.

Why is having a diverse group of volunteers important?

  • It brings new ideas and perspectives to organisations, therefore creating more innovation and open-mindedness within the organisation.
  • It makes the benefits of volunteering, such as skills development, accessible to everyone.
  • It helps people from different backgrounds to work together and understand each other.
  • It makes organisations more representative of the communities they serve.

How can your organisation promote diversity in volunteering?

  • Value and embed diversity as a core value throughout all levels of the organisation and invest in ways to constantly improve it.
  • Have processes and procedures that are easy to comprehend and welcome all volunteers.
  • Reach out to those under-represented among your volunteers and aid their involvement within the organisation.
  • Encourage and support volunteers to be themselves, and listen to what is important to them.
  • Create flexible volunteer roles that can be easily adapted to people’s needs.
  • Collect data and information to understand who volunteers for you and why.
  • Seek out any barriers that may exist for volunteers and take action to remove them.
  • Use language and images that reflect diversity and welcome diversity.
  • Offer and provide training and development opportunities to volunteers.

Take a look at our guide on building an inclusive space for volunteers and if you want support around recruiting and managing volunteers, get in touch with the team at volunteering@communitysouthwark.org.