Volunteering Naturally 2023

Volunteering Naturally 2023 is the Department's fifth annual snapshot of environmental volunteering across Victoria. The report includes the collection and collation of data on volunteer numbers and hours, economic contribution and stories of change.

Highlights for this year include an increase of 23 per cent in volunteer hours and 18 per cent of active volunteers since last year. We have also shared data from the individual regions across the state for the first time.

Thank you to the volunteers who donate their time and skills to protecting our incredible natural environment. Through capturing your contributions, we seek to continue spotlighting the invaluable work you're undertaking for generations to come.

Volunteering Naturally 2023 (pdf) (PDF, 5.7 MB)

Volunteering Naturally 2023 Accessible (word.doc) (DOCX, 78.1 KB)

Volunteering Naturally 2022

Volunteering Naturally 2022 is the Department's fourth annual snapshot of environmental volunteering across Victoria. The report includes the collection and collation of data on volunteer numbers and hours, economic contribution and stories of change.

What an amazing contribution volunteers are making to the environment!

Key observations include a bounce-back in volunteering efforts towards pre-pandemic levels. This is against a backdrop of overall decline in the broader volunteering sector.

Thank you for all the work that you do!

Volunteering Naturally 2022 cover showing two people planting

Volunteering Naturally 2022 (PDF, 7.6 MB)

Volunteering Naturally 2022 accessible word version (DOCX, 771.1 KB)

Volunteering Naturally 2021

Environmental volunteering connects community to nature and to each other.

We are pleased to release Volunteering Naturally 2021, our third annual stocktake of environmental volunteers across Victoria.

Volunteering Naturally 2021 Cover

Volunteering Naturally 2021 (PDF, 5.9 MB)

Volunteering Naturally 2021 (accessible version) (PDF, 5.9 MB)

Volunteering Naturally 2020

Environmental volunteering connects community to nature and to each other.

We are pleased to release Volunteering Naturally 2020, our second annual stocktake of environmental volunteers across Victoria.

Volunteering Naturally 2020 cover

Volunteering Naturally 2020 (PDF, 1.5 MB)

Volunteering Naturally 2020 (accessible version) (DOCX, 50.9 KB)

Volunteering Naturally 2019

Front Cover of Volunteering Naturally 2019

Volunteering Naturally 2019 is a collection and collation of data about active environmental volunteer groups in Victoria. This includes geographic location, and where possible, the number of volunteers and/or volunteer hours contributed captured through financial year reporting data.

Make sure you are counted in Volunteering Naturally 2020 - email us at: environmental.volunteering@delwp.vic.gov.au

Research

We are undertaking various research projects to help understand and support our environmental volunteering community.

What's in a name? Better ways to engage and retain volunteers for the environment (2023)

We wanted to know how best to engage with environmental volunteers, what they call themselves and how they describe the activities they do. So undertook some research to investigate.

This brief summary shows the key findings with some great practical suggestions provided.

What's in a name?

Barriers and Opportunities to Volunteering for Nature - what we've heard from the community (2023)

This document has been informed by conversations with environmental volunteer managers and groups across Victoria. It outlines barriers, motivators and opportunities to Victorians engaging in volunteering for nature. The summarised themes are intended to help inform volunteer manager's approach to supporting environmental volunteers moving forward.

Barriers and Opportunities to Volunteering

Barriers and Opportunities to Volunteering - word accessible

Future Makers - hearing from young people

Young people have the most to gain and the greatest to lose in policy and planning for the future. This is especially true in the context of the climate and biodiversity crises.

Here’s what ten young Victorians had to say about volunteering for nature. This document includes insights into what young people are looking for in a volunteer experience.

(PDF, 1.1 MB)

Involving more young people in environmental volunteering

DELWP recently commissioned Volunteering Victoria, in partnership with the Youth Affairs Council Victoria (YACVic), to develop a Youth Ready Assessment and Guide which help volunteer groups and programs increase youth participation. The 2 tools provide practical tips and suggestions to involve independent young volunteers, from teens through to those in their 20’s.

Younger volunteers bring energy and enthusiasm, as well as a high level of concern about the environment. Having more young people in volunteering ensures groups have long-term futures and allows for knowledge exchange from older volunteers.

The tools were developed with input and guidance from a youth reference group and a reference group of environmental volunteering organisations.

Download your copy of the Youth Ready Guide and Assessment here: Building an inclusive volunteer program - Volunteering Victoria

Social research - engaging Victorians in environmental volunteering

To support our partners to offer environmental volunteering opportunities that appeal to Victoria's diverse community we must first get to know that community. It is with this view that DELWP undertook a small but important piece of social research on engaging more Victorians in environmental volunteering. The project was conducted in partnership with Newgate Research.

The research sought to provide an updated evidence base for the motivators and barriers to participating in environmental volunteering. It also identified the characteristics of volunteering activities that most appealed to new volunteers and the types of narratives that resonate and are most likely to increase intent to volunteer.

Find out more about this exciting research here:

Engaging with universities

Interested in refreshing your volunteer pool, engaging more young people in your group?

Connecting with universities can offer access to a large network of students with a new intake each year. Read on to find out more about the benefits of reaching out and engaging with university students, including where and how to recruit young people.

Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Guide

The Aboriginal Cultural Heritage Guide was launched 25 October 2019 to assist community groups delivering on-ground projects and activities in Victoria to better understand the state's Aboriginal cultural heritage management process.

The guide has been updated in January 2020 and steps out the process for meeting the requirements of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 2006 which helps groups determine whether a Cultural Heritage Permit is required.

The guide also provides the key Aboriginal cultural heritage contacts, including for the 11 Registered Aboriginal Parties (RAPs) in Victoria.

Page last updated: 30/05/24