This week marks one year since the launch of Australia’s National Strategy for Volunteering. Built through a 12-month co-design process, the National Strategy charts a 10-year roadmap for volunteering in Australia.

The National Strategy contains a vision, underpinned by five vision statements, three focus areas and aims, and eleven strategic objectives. Structuring the National Strategy in this way recognises the three integral pillars of volunteering: people, impact, and infrastructure.

Each of the strategic objectives is accompanied by a case for change, which summarises the qualitative and quantitative data obtained through the co-design process and sourced from other materials. Ensuring each aspect of the National Strategy was evidence-based was critical to demonstrating not just the robustness of its development, but why the eleven strategic objectives were identified as the most significant.

Since its launch, the National Strategy for Volunteering has been downloaded over 4,000 times.

The National Strategy website has been our virtual meeting place since February 2022, with around 22,000 people across Australia visiting to stay informed and have their say on the future of volunteering in Australia.

Over 1,400 National Strategy subscribers have come on the journey so far. Subscribers receive regular updates and are the first to know about opportunities to get involved. Subscribe today.

Read Volunteering Australia CEO, Mark Pearce’s contribution to The Community Advocate, Australia’s National Strategy for Volunteering turns one.

Get Involved

The National Strategy for Volunteering will be delivered through a series of Three-Year Action Plans, with the first to commence in 2024. Volunteering Australia is delighted to announce that consultations for the first action plan will begin later this month. These consultations will build on the work undertaken in 2022, which captured hundreds of ideas to advance volunteering.

The National Strategy for Volunteering is for everyone. Whatever your role in the volunteering ecosystem, we want to hear from you. You are invited to share your perspective in a guided workshop that will contribute to the design of the first Three-Year Action Plan.

Select a session below to register:

Please note that each workshop offers the same opportunity to contribute. To maximise the number of people who can participate, please only register for one session.

The Establishment Phase

The National Strategy for Volunteering is currently in its first-year Establishment Phase. The purpose of this phase is to set the National Strategy up for success over its ten-year lifespan. Work has been underway on four key deliverables:

  1. Co-Design of a Three-Year Action Plan
  2. Development of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
  3. Development of a Governance Blueprint
  4. Development of a Model for Shared Accountability

Establishment Phase Updates

In addition to progress on the Establishment Phase deliverables, the past year has also included:

  • Recruiting an expanded National Strategy for Volunteering team.
  • Appointing and hosting the first meeting of the new National Strategy for Volunteering Council.
  • Refreshing the Research Working Group, which will continue to advance the national volunteering research agenda.
  • Appointing an Establishment Design Team that will consolidate consultation findings and other ideas into the draft Action Plan.
  • Presenting the National Strategy for Volunteering at conferences and events around Australia.
  • The National Strategy being recognised with the Good Design Award for Excellence and Innovation.
  • Promoting the National Strategy internationally, helping colleagues across the world learn from the project methodology as they embark on their own volunteering strategy projects.
  • Advancing the National Strategy through policy and advocacy initiatives, including key national reform agendas such as the Australian Government’s Not-for-profit Sector Development Blueprint, work being undertaken to build a stronger, more diverse and independent community sector, and the Productivity Commission Inquiry into Philanthropy.

Online Events

Regular online events have promoted the National Strategy for Volunteering and empowered others to consider how they can implement the National Strategy in their own organisations and communities. Over 2,000 people registered to join us at our online events including:

Many of our events have included guest speakers and the opportunity for Q&A. All events are recorded and available to watch on our YouTube Channel.

Co-Design Journey

The project to develop the National Strategy for Volunteering was unique: funded by the Department of Social Services, led by Volunteering Australia, and designed by the volunteering ecosystem. This partnership approach proved that collaboration, built on a foundation of trust and transparency, delivers real outcomes.

Throughout the co-design development process, the project benefited from the breadth and depth of expertise of thousands of people and organisations.

The development co-design journey involved 1541 individual engagements with stakeholders representing 672 organisations, groups, and interests from across the volunteering ecosystem. A considerable number of stakeholders who were involved in the project participated on multiple occasions and through a variety of consultation methods. A further 4932 participated in the Volunteering in Australia research and surveys.

This co-design journey continues through the first-year Establishment Phase and into the future of Australia’s ten-year National Strategy for Volunteering. Co-design workshops are being held in February and March; click here for more information and registration links.

The National Strategy for Volunteering is our map – it is up to us to navigate the journey to 2033 together.

Share Your Story

Has the National Strategy for Volunteering influenced your work?

Want to hear about how the National Strategy can help you and your volunteering?

Do you have plans to use the National Strategy for Volunteering?

We want to hear from you! Please write to today to share your thoughts, collaborate on future projects, and connect with like-minded members of the volunteering ecosystem.