Placing youth in a volunteer framework


Volunteering Auckland faves an encouraging challenge: it has more youth volunteers than it has organisations willing to place them. As a nonprofit that helps other nonprofits find and maximise a volunteer base, Volunteering Auckland wants to discover what hinders and what might help organisations to effectively engage and retain volunteers between the ages of 10 and 19. Most research related to youth volunteerism is youth-focused  – encouraging youth to participate and point out the benefits the recieve in terms of social capital, work experience and personal achievement. But here we look at this from the organisational perspective, seeking to discover why few organisations choose to accept youth volunteers, their challenges and redjudes, and proposing new ways Volunteering Auckland cam equip organisations to overcome these. Even organisations that have vulnerable clients or unsafe enviroments may find tasks that youth are capable of carrying out safely. Examples from those that have both high-needs clients and a thriving core of young volunteers demonstrate how that can be accomplished. For nonprofits that do not have the margin to invest in the staff needed to nurture a volunteer base, strategic training and supervision mad enable them to incorporate volunteers. Futhermore, some youth may not find a fit within an organisation, or may wish to take more of their own initiative. Volunteering Auckland has the tools to help create their own community project and recruit other young people to pitch in, both for one-off projects and initiatives that participants take further.

To view this paper CLICK HERE

To view past issues of Whanake, The Pacifica Journal of Community Development, CLICK HERE

To view the Aotearoa Community Development Association website where Whanake is produced, CLICK HERE


Wardlaw, M. (2018). Placing youth in a volunteer framework, Whanake: The Pacific Journal of Community Development, 4(2), 67–89.

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