Volunteer survey/2016–17/Report

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Introduction: Wikimedia UK 2016–17 Volunteer Survey

The volunteer survey opened on 13th January 2017 and closed on 7th February. It was sent to 144 email addresses, of which 44 people took the survey (including 5 partial responses).


Wikimedia UK's contact database was used to produce a list of people who have volunteered with the charity between 1st January 2015 and 31st December 2016. They were asked about their volunteering experience in 2016. The response rate of 31% was an improvement on previous surveys carried out by Wikimedia UK, the member survey 2012 (22% response rate) and 2013 (24%), and the 2015 volunteer survey (19%).

Key findings

The numbers in brackets preceding statements refer to the survey question number as indicated in the main report.

  • (1) 95% of people surveyed volunteered in 2015. Of these, 40% volunteered at least once a month and are highly active.
  • (2) The median number of volunteer hours was 16.5, an increase from 2014. The mean number of hours reported was also 58% smaller than the previous year; this is due to the fact that in 2015 two volunteers reported contributing at least 1,000 hours each. This year the highest was 500. The reduced pressure on individual volunteers may help prevent burn out, which the higher median indicates a more even distribution of volunteering. The 2016–17 activity year was the first where Wikimedia UK began systematically logging volunteer hours; the impact report records nearly 20,000 volunteer hours for the year.
  • (3) 95% of people said they were likely to continue volunteering with WMUK. This is a significant increase on the previous year.
  • (4) 74% of people felt there were suitable volunteer opportunities available in 2016. This increase from 60% indicates the charity's increased activity has led to more opportunities while efforts to match volunteers to volunteering opportunities has also had an impact. Some people felt that the charity’s activity level remained low and that there needed to be more events outside London. While Wikimedia UK is very active in South East England, Wales, and Scotland, in northern England events have been difficult to resource partly due to a diminished pool of volunteer areas in the region.
  • (5) 73% of people said they were likely to recommend volunteering with WMUK to a friend. While this is a decrease from 80% in 2015, and contrasts with the answer to (3) and (6), this appears to be influenced by answers to (4). See full report for more detail.
  • (6) 90% of people said that overall they enjoy volunteering for WMUK. This question includes a range of factors including feeling supported by staff (which 75% of people agreed with) and the range of volunteer roles available (which 57% were satisfied with). All factors saw an increase on the previous year.[1]
  • (7) Key themes for improvement were communication, more events and a wider range of activities. In particular volunteers enjoyed training others and being part of projects which have a global impact.
  • (8) Overall volunteers felt that the training was good quality and appropriate to their roles. This covered several factors, almost all of which improved from 2015. The only area which saw a small decrease was whether volunteers felt that volunteering with WMUK have them the chance to learn new skills. While 69% of people agreed with this, very close to 2015 (69%).[2]
  • (9) Of those who declared their gender, 27% of respondents are female and 73% male. This is comparable to the previous year, though a slightly higher proportion of women, when 22% were female and 77% male.
  • (10) There were some positive comments, and several respondents asked for more opportunities for volunteering.


  • Continue efforts to improve communication with the volunteer community.
  • Explore ways to formally recognise volunteers with barnstars or recommendations on LinkedIn.
  • Continue post-event support to ensure volunteers feel they are valued.
  • Continue to promote the Volunteer Roles developed in 2015 as a way for people to tell the charity what activities they are interested in.
    • Use this information to ensure people are offered relevant volunteering opportunities.
  • Continue with inductions for new volunteers as trialled in 2016.
  • Continue to look for opportunities to hold events outside London whether there is interest from volunteers and partners.
  • Promote project grants to volunteers to encourage them the flexibility to choose their own activity, as opposed to being asked by the office.
  • Explore the possibility of a knowledge sharing event for trainers.
    • Perhaps in relation to the AGM as people will be coming together in any case.
  • Share volunteer stories with the volunteer community.
  • Explore the possibility of online training for particular skills (eg: setting up events) so that those who do not have training opportunities near them can still improve their skills.


  1. Question 2015 Likert value (A) 2016 Likert value (B) (B)−(A)
    The charity appreciates my volunteering 3.91 4.21 +0.30
    I understand the importance of the work I perform for Wikimedia UK 4.22 4.54 +0.32
    I feel supported by the staff 3.80 3.98 +0.18
    I am satisfied with the variety of volunteer roles offered 3.39 3.55 +0.16
    Volunteering gave me a chance to expand my knowledge 4.03 4.11 +0.08
    My volunteer role gives me a sense of accomplishment 4.16 4.34 +0.18
    Overall I enjoy volunteering for Wikimedia UK 4.05 4.36 +0.31
    Average 3.92 4.16 +0.24
  2. Question 2014 Likert value (A) 2015 Likert value (B) 2016 Likert value (C) (C)−(B)
    I was satisfied with the amount of training available to me as a volunteer 4.00 3.66 4.00 +0.34
    The level of training was relevant to my volunteer needs 3.80 3.66 3.86 +0.20
    The training I received was good quality 4.10 3.91 4.07 +0.26
    Volunteering gave me a chance to learn new skills 3.80 3.85 3.82 -0.03
    Volunteering gave me a chance to expand my knowledge 3.90 4.03 4.11 +0.08
    Volunteering gave me more confidence 3.70 3.69 3.82 +0.13
    Volunteering gave me an opportunity to improve my employment prospects 3.40 3.14 3.25 +0.11
    Average 3.81 3.71 3.85 +0.14