Jodie Conduit, a researcher from the University of Adelaide, is currently collating data to obtain insights into how the St Vincent de Paul Society can best support its members, so they in turn are empowered to break down the barriers that make people feel disenfranchised and marginalised.
The survey contains a range of topics including how engaged members are with the Society, what motivates them to volunteer their time, their perceptions of the support they get from the Society, how well they feel they are able to provide support to people in need, and their intentions towards continuing to support the Society into the future.
Motivations to volunteer are many and varied and if we are to attract new members and volunteers while retaining existing ones, it is important to understand people’s reasons for joining and staying with the Society. For some, for example, socialising with others is a side benefit of giving back to the community. For others, opportunities to learn new skills and perform tasks that bring about personal satisfaction are important.
Do our volunteers believe their work is making a worthwhile contribution to the community? And does the effort they put into improving people’s lives, in their view, influence real change?
We are also interested in knowing whether volunteers feel appreciated by the Society, and if suitable recognition is given. Are they likely to recommend volunteering with the Society to others?
‘The survey itself will only take about 15 minutes to complete, but the value to Vinnies of understanding how it can better support its members will be invaluable,’ Associate Professor Conduit said.
All members, not just those attending the October Congress, are encouraged to take part in the survey, which will be emailed in May, and uploaded onto the Society’s website.