More than half of Eindhoven’s volunteer organisations lack sufficient staff, according to a study by Eindhoven Doet.
The deficit has fallen by 9% since 2017 but remains significant. The need for volunteers is particularly high at institutions for disabled persons.
Mediation agency Eindhoven Doet currently has 1025 vacancies open. The high demand is primarily due to the increasing appeal of volunteer organisations. “Policy makers are increasingly shifting responsibilities from healthcare professionals to society itself; we have to solve it together”, says Eindhoven Doet advisor Diana van den Eijnden.
The shortage is affecting different organisations in a variety of ways, according to van den Eijnden, with some seeing waiting lists grow while others put the burden of the extra work on the few volunteers they have.
One organisation struggling to find volunteers is De Kunsterij Foundation. The foundation helps people with difficulties entering the labour market develop their talents and social skills.
“We’re mainly missing people for tasks with more responsibility, such as accounting and management. People do apply for this, but they often underestimate the work involved. Candidates must be able to explain things clearly, speak in front of groups, and manage people. People want to just do part of the work, but sometimes we need someone who can do it all to give the rest of the staff some relief. Those people are hard to find”, says De Kunsterij’s Anja van Voren.
Eindhoven Doet helps organisations recruit volunteers by working with them to increase awareness of the interests of volunteers. “They need to think less along the lines of ‘what do we need from a volunteer’ and more along the lines of ‘what do we have to offer a volunteer’. That’s fairly easy to achieve and will make a big difference”, says van den Eijnden.
Translation: Nicola W