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The decline of volunteering? what's the path ahead...

Stark insights when it comes to volunteering in the latest Department for Culture, Media and Sport Community Life Survey 2021/22...


For background this is a UK household survey of adults aged 16+ which ran from Oct 2021 to Sept 2022 - covering topics from how we're interacting socially (instant messaging is, no surprises up while letter writing sadly down) to well-being and loneliness (sadly 6% / 3m respondents said they feel lonely often or always), neighbourhood and community (72% of us chat regularly with our neighbours) and lastly volunteering and charitable giving.

Focusing on volunteering - here comes the tough news looking at the long term trends:

⬇ formal volunteering* at least once a month down to 16% in 2021/22 from 27% in 2013/14

⬇ formal volunteering at least once a year down to 27% in 2021/22 from 45% in 2013/14

⬇ 25-34 age group showed lower participation in formal volunteering* at least once a month compared to every other age group at 10% in 2021/22 (a worrying sign for where this trend could head)

* formal volunteering refers to those who have given unpaid help to groups or clubs, for example, leading a group, administrative support, mutual aid groups or befriending or mentoring people.

Most common barriers to formal volunteering are unsurprisingly related to available time

- 49% ‘I have work commitments’

- 31% ‘I do other things in my spare time’

But not to end the week with all doom and gloom - there are a whole host of fantastic organisations and initiatives doing all they can to buck this trend and help keep the non-profit show on the road - be that NCVO Royal Voluntary Service Volunteering Matters Reach Volunteering Inspiring Governance Governors for Schools The Honorary Treasurers Forum Accounting for International Development (AfID) Getting On Board Trustees Unlimited Pilotlight Education and Employers /together and many more!

At Charterpath we have developed three pillars to our efforts focused on charting a path between accountants and non-profits:

1️. Inspire more accountants to volunteer their skills to non-profits

2. Connect non-profits more easily with volunteer accountants

3️. Engage with other organisations so volunteering becomes a core part of an accountant’s career

So please do help us increase volunteering levels by taking a few minutes to spread the word about Charterpath with any accountants in your network and point them towards our LinkedIn page and website which are full of inspiring and helpful resources


If the idea of volunteering your skills with a non-profit has caught your imagination - follow these 3 simple steps:

  1. Follow Charterpath on LinkedIn for all the latest news, inspiration, and roles

  2. Have a look around our website at for case studies, helpful resources, and live volunteer opportunities

  3. Sign the Charterpath pledge to show your support for our mission and volunteer your skills for at least 2 days each year

About Charterpath

Alice Clementi and Alex Marsh co-founded Charterpath as a community interest company in 2020, with a mission to increase the proportion of accountants volunteering from 10% to 50% - inspiring more accountants to volunteer their time and expertise, connecting them with non-profit opportunities, and engaging with a wide range of organisations so volunteering is a core part of an accountant’s career. For more information, visit



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