Building an inclusive
volunteer program

The power of diversity and inclusion in volunteering

Volunteering has a powerful impact when it is accessible to all and reflects our diverse communities. When we see ourselves represented in an organisation, the message we receive is that we belong there too. When we go into spaces that are built with us in mind, we feel welcome.

This is the power of diversity and inclusion.

A diverse volunteer team is a great strength. Everyone benefits from new perspectives and lived experiences, creating better support for your community. When volunteering reflects your community, you can build trust and better advocate for underrepresented groups. The ripple effect makes it even more worthwhile: an inclusive and diverse organisation is welcoming to all, which in turn encourages others to volunteer.

Need support?

We encourage you to consider how you can build an inclusive volunteer program and involve volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including people with disabilities, migrants, people who identify as LGBTQI+ and First Nations Peoples.

If you need help, contact us to find out how to get started on your diversity and inclusion journey. Working together, we can support you to recruit, retain and grow a thriving and diverse volunteer team.

Contact us

The following organisations may also be able to provide you with advice and support:

Engaging youth

Youth Ready Guide & Assessment
In 2021, Volunteering Victoria was engaged by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) to develop and design a youth engagement package for environmental groups in Victoria, including an assessment tool and a concise youth-inclusive practice guide.

The Youth Ready Guide aims to help organisations assess their youth readiness and tailor services to involve young volunteers, from teens through twenties, while the Youth Ready Assessment enables you to assess how well your projects appeal to young people across five focus areas.

Throughout this project, Volunteering Victoria worked with an Environmental Organisations Reference Group and a Youth Reference Group (convened through YACVIC) to codesign and develop these tools.

Recognition Certificates
As recommended in the guide, recognition is particularly important to younger volunteers where they have limited other experience in professional settings. Recognition certificates can acknowledge milestones such as completing a project, or volunteering for a certain number of hours, or just be a way to thank your volunteers at an annual celebration.

Our templates below can be used to design your own certificates:

Engaging multicultural volunteers

Culturally Inclusive Volunteer Toolkit
Volunteer West have launched their Culturally Inclusive Volunteer Toolkit, designed to help volunteer managers and volunteer-involving organisations (VIOs) support culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) volunteers, and implement responsive CALD practices in their organisation.

The content was created through a co-design process and focuses on how VIOs can work towards creating a more inclusive volunteering environment for multicultural volunteers.

View Toolkit