Sociology: Volunteering and Its Aspects


Volunteering is a situation in which an individual or a group of people come together with a view of participating or serving with no payment in return. Individuals execute a given task in society out of their own willingness. They can abandon the task whenever they feel to do so. Volunteering activities does not stop with the society alone but extends to include organizations and companies (Fischer & Shaffer 1993, p.19).

This initiative goes a long way to include major world events that happen in a given country, and it involves various countries of the world. These events include events that can include major Olympics, world cups, and other common events that draw the attention of many countries as participants. Volunteering has played a major role in necessitating the success of these particular events at a reduced cost to the organizers.

In the same spirit, it has necessitated the volunteers to gain skills in handling major events and interacting with people from other cultures of the world. This paper looks deeply into the integral part played by the volunteering groups in the success of events.

Volunteering activities such as skill-based volunteering, environmental volunteering, and corporate volunteering initiatives, among other forms of volunteering has necessitated the success of events such as the 2000 Olympics and the Paralympics games, Sydney marathon, and Sydney Swans community games.

The services of the volunteers have necessitated the success of the events taking place in New South Wales. New South Wales has hosted some of the biggest and most successful in Australia. The success comes from the volunteering groups. The paper further looks into the fact that volunteers are not simply a way of reducing costs.

In the real sense, their services reduce cost and escape the burden of employing much staff that will remain after the event with no obligation to undertake, especially for the event-organizing group.

The paper further establishes the implications of involving volunteers in the organization of their events. The implications to the organizers are majorly positive since the volunteers are considered to bear the determination and zeal to execute whatever function they called upon to execute.

Volunteering is not a Cost Reduction Strategy

In real sense, volunteers are not simply a means of reducing costs. Volunteers play an integral part in the success of any event. In most cases, they are not after the payment drawn from the event itself but are interested in accomplishing their goals without having to spend a lot of money. Volunteering initiatives are majorly for the benefit of the communities involved.

For instance, in cases where the community has suffered a disaster, and they require the recovery response, then the volunteers come in to assist in such situations. Many people from all over the world (Arcodia, & Whitford 2007, p 6) attend the great events. Hence, it is hard to manage.

The volunteers who participate in activities to enhance their carrier benefit themselves since their latter find a job in those particular companies. Through these initiatives, the government is able to maintain a pool of personnel required for industrial growth. The international work camps enable people from different countries to share their culture and interact freely, thus reducing the barriers between them.

How Volunteering Initiatives do more than just reducing costs

Volunteering initiatives can be classified according to the nature of the practices they involve. The nature of work undertaken by volunteers determines the classification. For instance, environmental volunteers participate much in the recovery missions, especially when there was a disaster in a given country. They do assist in the recovery mission due to their expertise.

A certain group known as the community volunteers deals with community initiatives. It comes in as an organization to fulfill a given mandate in the society, and in so doing, they recruit members from within the community who are willing to work with them in meeting their mandate.

In most developing countries, the common form of volunteering undertaken is community volunteering, also known as volunteering in developing countries. It is community volunteering since it majorly deals with the community initiatives in the developing countries, which experience calamities such as hunger, due to low food production. Getz (2007) shows the importance of social and culture (p 62).

The volunteers, in this case, involve parties from developed countries who bring in the food aid and recruit the locals in ensuring that the foodstuffs are donated to the affected individuals. Most countries that are still in the developing stages do experience calamities that include floods, drought, and the outbreak of diseases. Since they are still in their developing stages, they require assistance from other donor countries that are developed.

The developed countries assist countries in question with foodstuffs and medication. The community volunteers work in poor schools, orphanages, and even in churches. They work in places that attract many individuals who came for their services. This kind of volunteering does not only involve the provision of services, but it goes a long way to include the material provisions.

This is because the communities in question are poor and cannot stand on their own in the provision of the basic requirements. Most of the communities in question are far much hit with HIV and AIDS pandemic and poverty hence require the attention of donor counties in the provision of financial assistance such as drugs, foodstuffs, clothing, and beddings.

In most cases, the services of the community volunteers are sought in the refugee camps. As other workers are being paid, “volunteers are expected to do more for nothing” (Orwig 2011, p 315). The main initiators of these activities are from developed countries.

They are funded by their countries of origin or by the organizations they work for through donations from other individuals, but volunteer to come and assist in making it a reality by finding the groups that require this particular assistance and informing their funding organization of their needs in helping the local communities (Fischer et al. 1991, p.33).

The community-based volunteering mission plays a very crucial role in the fight against poverty in the developing countries that are still poor. In developing countries, the distribution of resources is very poor. Therefore, it is only the communities staying within the central government that are exposed to the benefits of available basic resources such as good health facilities, good schools, and availability of foodstuffs (Hoyle 2009, p.89).

The other communities that stay in the rural parts of the country are ignored; hence, it requires the indulgence of volunteers from other countries to assist them in getting an education and health provisions since the central government does not recognize their needs and, therefore, do not attend to them. Their representation in the governance is ignored, thus hampering the possibility of getting assistance.

Community volunteering work to improve the community in areas in which they live, neighboring and community groups play a critical role in enabling the execution of this mandate. Their mandate in the society includes support of these understaffed groups hence enabling the given community to succeed in a variety of areas. This connects social, environmental, and economic boundaries.

The environmental volunteers come in to assist, especially when a disaster has occurred in the community as much as the community volunteers concentrate much on community development, especially those that have been ignored by the central government.

The environmental volunteers are found even in developed countries. The calamities do not choose where to occur; they take place anywhere in any country. The environmental volunteers execute their mandate following a natural disaster — these calamities in clued the tsunami, floods, drought, and earthquake. “In 2004, the Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami attracted a wide amount of volunteers” (Theodoraki 2009, p.203).

In the calamity, more than two hundred and fifty individuals died. These volunteers work alongside other government agencies and United Nations aids(Theodoraki 2009, p.03). The government, through the central government, comes in to assist the affected communities. The calamities, such as the tsunami in Japan that affected the operations of many industries, drew the attention of the whole world.

Many countries, including those from the developing countries, rose up and added their contribution to the aid kitty to meet the requirement of the recovery process (Graham 2003, p.10). The disaster occurrence and subsequent aftermath that accompany it comes do not choose the country or place of occurrence since it is a natural disaster.

he United Nations agencies for humanity assists countries that are hit with these calamities, but the United Nations require assistance from the communities around to assist “in the provision of services to the community” (Meneghetti 1995, p.56).

The United Nations agencies thus draw their volunteers from the environmental volunteers. The environmental volunteers work at a small initiative provided by the donor countries but not a salary. They are given a small initiative to enable them to carry out their activities without any problem.

The environmental volunteering enables the volunteering people, especially from the local society, to assist in the building of their own society, thus enabling the growth of their own communities.

The environmental volunteer benefits so much through their service since it enables them to interact fully with their community and work for the community. The individuals who work as environmental volunteers get recognition from different sectors of the world that, in the end, incorporate them into their programs that are geared towards voluntary work.

Many companies place their employees in indulging in volunteering programs known as corporate volunteering and employee volunteering. In many companies and organizations, an established department purely deals with corporate affairs. The culture sharing through volunteering enhances social incorporation (Bennett 1999, p 600).

This involves working towards assisting the community in solving their enhanced day-to-day problems that are affecting the community. This initiative has enabled most companies to assist the community in different capacities in overcoming the problems they are facing. Through the corporate affairs department, the companies have been able to assist individuals who hail in the orphanages.

Through this initiative, the company collects the resources from its employees to help in fulfilling this initiative. The company still contributes heavily to accomplish this initiative. The company draws the services of its members in assisting in the provision of services to the given establishment they are visiting and executing their services.

Most of the government establishment expects that each company or industry or even the business setting is required to contribute a certain kitty from their endeavors to assist the community in a given way. This initiative has been extended to include the services from the institutes of higher learning. The institutes of higher learning have been involved actively in executing this particular initiative.

“The fortune 500 company, for instance, allows its employees to volunteer during working hours” (Lee & Catagnus 1998, p.45). The employees participate in the cleaning activities in the town areas. The employees participate in the feeding programs for small children, especially in the developing countries, which have widespread issues of HIV and AIDS instances.

The major beneficiaries of these particular initiatives are the orphanages. The corporate affairs department works together with another employee from different departments in reaching the determination. The initiatives include formalized Employee Volunteering Programs (EVPs). This is also known as the Employer Volunteering acts (Guy 2010, p.100).

The initiative acts as part of enabling sustainability efforts and social responsibility activities. This is attained through the consistent visiting of the community. At Fortune 500, companies provide monetary donations. These donations are also known as volunteer grants to non-profit as a way of recognizing their employees who participate in this particular initiative (Musick, Herzog & House, 1999, p.175).

According to the Volunteer Match, a service that provides Employee Volunteering Program solutions is the driver that produces and manages Employee Volunteering Program: it builds brand awareness and affinity, strengths, trust, and loyalty among consumers.

The program enhances the corporate image and reputation. It further improves employee retention, increases employee productivity and loyalty, and further provides an effective vehicle to reach strategic goals. The corporate volunteering program plays an integral part in the development of the company and enhances the good relationship between the company and the society.

The skills-based volunteering infers the specialized skills and talents to strengthen the infrastructure of non-profits. The individuals who indulge in this particular practice aim at ensuring that they gain their own skills as far as their carrier is involved. Davidson and Rogers (2006) emulate the cooperation between education and industry and of knowledge transfer (p 24).

This type of indulgence ensures that individuals gain the required skills to boost their carrier advances. This type of volunteering plays an integral role in the carrier development of those involved. This involvement ensures capacity building. It assists the country at large in general workmanship development in the end.

The government, through this initiative, ensures consistent personnel development, thus ensuring continuous labor output for the industries. The process of market survey requires the involvement of individuals (Brace 2004, p 155). The skill-based volunteering ensures that the country builds a capacity-building as far as human resource development is concerned.

The skill-based volunteering program assists the new graduates in coping within the society by practicing what they learned in class. Enrolment into the job market has been a major problem for developed and developing nations. There has been a great need for the creation of job opportunities in all countries all over the world. As Bowen and Daniels (2005) posit, the music involvement during events acts as a hook for those in attendance (p 159).

This has posed a challenge to many nations that have not been able to meet the demands for their citizens as far as job creation is concerned. This has forced many nations to introduce the idea of a skill-based initiative to counteract the ever-increasing number of students who are leaving the tertiary colleges and universities. Thanks to this initiative.

Many countries have been able to reduce the backlog of students who leave schools and have nowhere to go and practice what they have learned. The initiative works less like the internship program (Benson 1999, p.13). The volunteers are given a small token for transport. At the end of the volunteering program, most of the volunteers have been absorbed into the company.

They have been employed through their show of will to work for free just to benefit society. Skill-based volunteering has played an integral role in the general development of the whole society by improving the personnel and creating jobs for young graduates.

The international work camp is an international volunteer program in which the participants from different countries can meet, live, work, and exchange ideas with the local communities and people in particular. Graham (2007) emulates the importance of “volunteering in business conventions, graduations and ceremonies, and Olympics” (p 85).

The meeting enables the participants to exchange issues concerning the issues about environmental conservation, cultural heritage, and social justice, rural and human development. The international work camp ensures that the individuals from the concerned nations are given the tools they require in the execution of their mandate. The initiative provides assistance in the developing countries that are hit with consistent violence and civil wars.

Buch, Milne, and Dickson (2011) support cultural diversity through events participation (p 38). These countries have refugee camps and require the indulgence of the developed countries in their sustainability. The cost of sustaining these particular refugees is an initiative within the mandate of the United Nations, but the funding is drawn from the donor nations (Allen 2009, p.23).

The international work camp draws its members from the developed and the developing countries. This enables them to be accessible all over the world, thus enhancing their influence. With its members drawn from the whole world, the initiative has been able to afford the funding of its projects. The members provide ready personnel for the initiative.

The only big spending is experienced in the provision of the items required by the affected group. This particular initiative includes the Red Cross Society, which is established in the whole world, and its mandate is felt worldwide. The initiative has necessitated the restoration of forestry cover in some of the countries that have suffered the destruction of their forest cover.

The environmental conservation through this initiative has brought sanity to the communities through the proviso of the educational training to individuals in the local communities. This initiative has played an integral part in the development of the communities and the nation. This program has improved the national outlook of many countries.

The event volunteering is an initiative taken by individuals from particular countries that are playing host for the known major events such as world cups and marathons. The “events today are central to our culture” (Bowdin, Allen, McDonnell, O’Toole, & Harts 2011, p 67).

For instance, the volunteers participate as stewards and ushers. Worth mentioning is the involvement as ushers in the major events like the marathon. As Allen (2008) puts it, festivals and special events bring people together people to celebrate and support each other (p 46). The countries that take part as hosts to these great known events are encouraged to employ the services of this particular group.

Gold (2007) backs up the need for the planning of events (p 3). Nevertheless, why is it important? Many have asked the question. Why deny them long-term employment?

The main reason is that, during the time of the event, the organizers require many employees to counter the bigger number of individuals present during these occasions, but immediately after the events, the normal duties resume, and the companies do not require the great number of individuals.

Goldblatt (2001) expresses the need for global event management to ensure success (p 5). Before the events begin, the companies have very little employees; as the event dates approach, the companies to pull the services of the event volunteers to counter their clients’ needs.

Still, as the events come to an end, the companies involved reduce their staff by relinquishing the volunteers of their duties. The company that benefits much from these initiatives includes the major event organizers who need this group of individuals to assist in the delivery of their general services.

There is a need for event marketing to ensure its success (Hoyle 2002, p 39). If it is a world cup, for instance, the event organizers need to increase their staff that deals with ticketing stewardship and general ushering in of the participants. They need to increase their security. The hotels that host the participants and their loyal fans also increase their staff to counter the increased number of their clients.

The volunteering initiative plays an integral role to the organizers by obtaining the easy employees for a short period (Berridge 2010, p.37). In this case, the individuals who participate are not only drawn from the unemployed group any, it still comes from the employed people, especially those who want to attend the event and probably did not have the cash to buy the ticket.

The support drawn from this initiative benefits both the organizers and individuals who take part in the initiative. The volunteer is proud of the fact that they were able to participate in the event while the organizers are proud of having made the event a success in itself (Mutchler et al. 2003, p.47).

The organizers since are seeking people to employ for a short period of time end up cutting on the cost of employing individuals in the long term and remain without hosting the event for a long time.

For instance, the world cup is held every five years, and each continent has an equal chance of hosting it. It functions like a merry go round. Thus, no continent hosts it continuously. To solve this issue, it’s better to indulge the services of the volunteers at a lower cost over a short period.

Conclusion: The implications of using the volunteers for the organizers

In conclusion, the success of the organizers has dependent much on the contribution of the volunteers. The negative implications have so far not been reported. There is a need for awareness creation as part of event preparation (Yeoman, Robertson, Ali-Knight, Drummond, & McMahon-Beattie 2004, p 118).

The only issue that may arise is employing individuals who are not qualified to execute a given task hence risking being punished by the bodies supervising the events. The organizers have been able to employ the volunteer for a short period and thus to succeed without having to go through a tedious process of employing new staff for a long period.

This would have proved difficult and expensive since employing individuals means catering for their complete benefits. The volunteering process has enabled many companies and governments to succeed in the provision of basic services to the society.

The volunteering programs have made it possible for many organizations to be able to recover from the aftermaths of disaster since the community volunteering initiative has been at the forefront of ensuring this takes place. Pine and Gilmore (1999) iterate the need for investment in order to gain success (p 132).

Corporate volunteering has played a major role in building awareness and affinity, strength, trust, and loyalty among customers. Theodoraki (2007) outlines the need for heavy investment in the Olympic events, especially with human involvement (p 132).

Tum, Norton, and Wright (2006) share the same sentiments that the Olympics involve great human investment (p 93). It has enhanced corporate image and reputation. In the same spirit, it improves employee retention, thus improving the productivity of the company. The international work camp has befitted many individuals from interaction with individuals from other countries.


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