Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

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Introducing the voluntary sector

1.1 Review and reflection

It is useful to give yourself space to review what you have done on the course, and to revisit any aspects that you need to complete or about which you want to think more deeply. The following activities give you the chance to do so.

Activity 1 Reviewing the course topics and activities

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

Table 1 is provided to remind you of the topics you have covered in each week. Identify those you feel confident about and those you would like to learn more about. You might want to revisit the activities associated with each topic to remind yourself of whether you were able to apply it to an example of your own.

If you wish, you can download the table [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] and fill it in.

Table 1 Topics covered

WeekKey topicsI am confident about theseI would like to learn more about these

1 What is voluntary about the voluntary sector?

2 Where did the voluntary sector come from?

3 What is the voluntary sector’s distinctive value?


1 What are values?

2 Personal values

3 Organisational values and vision

4 Values in the voluntary sector


1 Data about the voluntary sector

2 Size of the voluntary sector

3 Contribution of the voluntary sector to the economy

4 Types of voluntary activity

5 Understanding differences within the voluntary sector

6 Different data: micro-mapping


1 What is funding?

2 Looking at funding through annual reports

3 Income from individuals

4 Income from government

5 Income from other sources

6 Funding challenges


1 Who are stakeholders?

2 Stakeholder power and interest

3 Working with stakeholders

4 Communicating with stakeholders


1 What is power?

2 Who are beneficiaries?

3 Engaging and empowering

4 Empowering service users


1 What is volunteering?

2 What do volunteers do?

3 Who volunteers?

4 Why volunteer?


Completing this table will have given you a sense of what you have achieved so far. You might have noted some topics that particularly interested you and that you might want to study further or discuss with colleagues (if you are working). Next, you’ll develop these thoughts further and formulate your thoughts into action points.

Activity 2 Identifying areas for further study

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Now identify three areas that you would particularly like to learn more about through further study or through where you work or volunteer.

Try to make your ideas quite specific about what you want to do. So, instead of writing ‘look again at annual reports’, for example, write something like ‘practise interpreting annual reports’ or ‘revisit my organisation’s annual report to see if I can make suggestions on making it clearer for stakeholders’.

Also, note whether you think this could be something you can do now and practise further through your organisation and/or whether you want to take another course.

Table 2 has been partially filled in to show the kind of information you need to capture. You can either copy the table and fill it in or, if you prefer, use the word document we have provided.

Table 2 Priority areas

Priority areaWhy?What do I want to do?Work or further course
Practise interpreting annual reportsTo make sure I understand the information they containProgress to a management role



Alternatively, you could fill in the boxes below.

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When you know your priorities, you will be in a good position to decide what your next steps will be in terms of your job, volunteering or further learning.


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