The Goverment’s recent Community Life Survey appears to suggest a fall in general levels of volunteering. But is it as simple as that? Has the recent change in research methodology affected the results? If so, how? What are the pros and cons of the new method, how does the private sector approach such research, and how is the data utilised?

This event will bring together the Survey’s lead researcher, Olivia Christophersen, with Cian Murphy, Head of data Science at nfpSynergy, and Veronique Jochum, Head of Research at NCVO. Between them they will look at the different ways in which volunteering data is collected, examine the trends and consider how it can best be utilised for the benefit of the sector.

As usual, there will be opportunities for networking and roundtable discussions where attendees can compare their own experiences, observations and conclusions.


13:00 Registration

13:30 Welcome address from Ruth Leonard, AVM Chair

13:40 Olivia Christophersen, Head of Statistics, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport: Who volunteers? Latest results from the Community Life Survey

The Community Life Survey is the Government’s main source of information on patterns in volunteering in England. This presentation will summarise the latest results from the survey, exploring the characteristics of people who volunteer and how this has changed over time. It will also look at the frequency of different types of volunteering activities.

14:15 Cian Murphy, Head of data Science, nfpSynergy: Is counting volunteers easier than counting sheep?

nfpSynergy has been monitoring the percentage of people who volunteer for over 15 years. This session will present some of our trends and analysis. It will also look at some of the challenges of deciding what is and isn’t volunteering, and work out why the different researchers come up with such different estimates. One thing’s for sure, while it’s probably easier to count sheep, but sheep would be rubbish running a charity shop.

14:50 Roundtable discussion

15:20 Coffee break

15:45 Veronique Jochum, Head of Research, NCVO:

Véronique will talk about the way the NCVO uses the Community Life Survey to improve understanding of how people get involved. She will outline how the survey informs the yearly production of the UK Civil Society Almanac and the Road Ahead publication on the sector’s operating environment, and how the survey results feature in a new NCVO publication ‘Getting involved: How people make a difference’ drawing together trends, facts and statistics relating to participation from a range of different sources.

16:20 Closing address

16:45 End


November 16, 2017
1:00 pm - 4:30 pm
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