Volunteer Management

The Volunteer Management Activity supports the delivery of volunteer support services and one-off innovation and collaboration projects to encourage, support and increase participation in volunteering.

Volunteer Support Services provide volunteering information and support to individuals, volunteers, volunteer managers and volunteer involving organisations. These services are located in metropolitan and regional areas across Australia.

$18.8 million (excluding GST) in funding is dedicated to the Volunteer Management Activity from 1 January 2018 until 30 June 2021.

Organisations currently funded under the Volunteer Management Activity are listed on the DSS Grants Service Directory. You can search the directory by program name, state/territory, region or postcode, or a combination of these.

Review of the Volunteer Management Activity

In November 2017, Matthews Pegg Consulting (mpconsulting) was commissioned to conduct an independent review into the appropriateness, effectiveness and efficiency of the Volunteer Management Activity program.

The final report was received by the Department in October 2018.

On 13 February 2020, the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator the Hon Anne Ruston, released the Report on the Review of the Volunteer Management Activity (the Review).

The Review provides the Department with recommendations on ways to significantly improve volunteer management across Australia.

The Review recommended that the Australian Government:

  1. Continue to invest in volunteer management, but clarify its interest in volunteer management including the focus and objective of its investment, and
  2. Work with stakeholders over the coming 12 months to co-design a new program (including the performance framework) that focuses the Australian Government’s investment on building the capacity of Volunteer Involving Organisations to effectively recruit and manage volunteers.

The Review noted the importance of volunteering to the Australian society, including contributing significant value to the economy, community cohesion and individual wellbeing.

The Review also highlighted the important role volunteering plays in service delivery across a wide range of sectors, including aged care, disability, family and community services, disaster resilience, environmental management, sports, arts and culture.


The Review was undertaken from November 2017 to May 2018, and involved face-to-face meetings and teleconferences with Volunteer Support Services, Volunteer Involving Organisations, peak organisations, representatives from the Department and other government agencies.

The Review:

  • Describes the volunteering environment in Australia and the role of volunteer management;
  • Examines funding of volunteer management in Australia;
  • Examines the strengths and limitations of the Volunteer Management Activity program design, funding, implementation, and performance measurement; and
  • Summarises mpconsulting’s key findings and recommendations.

Next steps

The Department is seeking submissions on the Discussion Paper to inform the development of options for the future of the Volunteer Management Activity program post 30 June 2021.

Please use the template provided for submissions on the Discussion Paper. Submissions will close at 5pm (AEDT) on 27 March 2020.

For further information on the Review or the submissions process, please contact the Department via VolunteerManagement@dss.gov.au.

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