The Telefónica Foundation presented on November 4 the ‘Portrait of volunteering in Spain. Trends, innovative experiences and figures of a growing phenomenon ’, a study of the different forms of volunteering and the people who integrate it. The objective of this report is to contribute the main magnitudes of the sector, to serve as an inspiring guide to the most innovative practices and to show the tendencies of this movement before the social crossroads of the 21st century.
This research throws several conclusions, among which the growth and diversification of volunteering in Spain, a phenomenon especially linked to the impulse of the digital society. Specifically, social networks have managed to create new spontaneous volunteer patterns, fueled by non-institutionalized participation movements. In fact, the report also aims to visualize this imperceptible volunteering, measuring its social impact.
The study is the result of almost four thousand interviews, conducted in different fields: population in general, voluntary entities, other social agents ... In parallel, more than three hundred initiatives have been evaluated, several national and international reports have been analyzed, and several workshops and round tables with experts from the social, educational, business, informational, health, academic, etc. In them the tendencies and facets that are shaping volunteering in our environment have been discussed.
Among the contributions of these experts, it can be highlighted that “we need to develop strategies that incorporate and trust the volunteers of children under 35 years of age and over 65 years” (Carmen Salcedo, research coordinator), “we must investigate more to know more. Involve each volunteer in the activity they do, ask for their opinions ”(Silvia Arias, director of the Office of Solidarity Action and Cooperation of the UAM),“ the entities should open more and be a space where people can propose ”(Mara Amate , director of the Volunteer Platform), “in healthcare, in hospitals, we do a lot of volunteering but we make very little known” (Concepción Nicolás, responsible for Volunteering at the Niño Jesús Hospital), and finally, “we want to turn this portrait into a story and be able to do many more. This will continue ”(Carlos Palacios, Global Head of Telephone Volunteers).