Reviewing the impact of volunteering

New from Third Sector Research Centre is ‘Third sector impacts on human resources and community: a critical review’.

This working paper – a literature review – looks at current evidence on what impact volunteering and working in the sector has on individuals and community.

Some of the main conclusions that caught our eye:

  • At the individual level the positive benefits of third sector involvement are (more) available to those who are already better off than others.
  • In many .. studies the causal relationships (between volunteering and impact) often have been assumed rather than demonstrated.
  • Despite the vast amount of literature that often contains inconsistent and contradictory findings, the systematic reviews of third sector impact are virtually non-existent, except for a systematic review of health effects of volunteering.
  • Most of the studies on third sector impact have been conducted in a limited number of European countries.
  • The effects of the diversity of third sector organisations is often ignored.

Download Working Paper 134, pdf 1.2MB.