The Advocacy Role

of Volunteering Leadership Organizations

IAVE (International Association for Volunteer Effort) identifies advocacy for volunteering as one of three primary functions of national leadership for volunteering. This assessment of the advocacy role of  is echoed in the findings of the 2021 IAVE research report ‘Leadership for Volunteering: the COVID-19 Experience’.

The data on the right suggests that in their advocacy role, national volunteering leadership organizations (VLOs) in different countries work closely with, or are advocating to, state agencies, multilateral agencies, regional intergovernmental, non-profit organizations and private sector organizations. Advocacy activities center on the development of volunteering laws and policies, volunteers’ rights, mobilizing volunteers, and resourcing.


working towards developing an enabling environment for volunteers

The Impact of COVID-19

  • COVID-19 has created a momentum for VLOs to showcase the important work volunteers do.
  • COVID-19 provided fresh opportunities for volunteer advocacy including making it easier to advocate on multiple issues.
  • The advocacy focus has been concerned with reviewing/developing volunteer policies and building coalitions with volunteer involving organizations.
  • Raising awareness of COVID-19 became an important part of the advocacy role including advocating for volunteer safety issues. There was involvement in new COVID-19 related initiatives including vaccination programs.
  • COVID-19 also posed challenges for advocacy work – e.g., lack of funding, lack of recognition for the volunteer contribution.
  • COVID-19 has highlighted the importance of partnerships, alliances or coalitions. 71% of survey respondents indicated that they have been part of coalitions of volunteer-involving organizations during COVID-19 to engage in advocacy. 64% indicated that they have strengthened their volunteer-based partnerships with governments. 52% indicated that they had strengthened their strategic partnerships with corporations.
Me-to-We Virtual Mentoring Program for youth development, organized by The Volunteer Center of Trinidad & Tobago (VCTT).

The research data shows…

part of coalitions of volunteer-involving organizations during COVID-19
to engage in advocacy
71% of respondents
strengthened volunteer-based partnerships with governments64% of respondents
strengthened strategic partnerships with corporations52% of respondents

To find out more about what the research is saying about the Advocacy Role of Volunteering Leadership Organizations please go directly to Section 1 of the Report.