The Institute of Baltic Studies in collaboration with Turu-Uuringute AS is conducting the study “Participation in volunteer work”, commissioned by the Ministry of Interior. The purpose is to analyze the situation of volunteer work in Estonia, the changes that have taken place since the year 2013 and the possible causes of these changes. Policy recommendations for the Civil Society program 2021-2030 will be developed based on the gathered information and methods that support the development of the field will be identified. 

Volunteer work is to offer time, energy and skills out of free will without benefiting personally. Volunteers help others or act mainly in public interest and for the greater good of society. Volunteering is one possibility to actively participate in community life, help solve problems and be an active member of a democratic society. Volunteering for organizations helps connect members of society and provide a better comprehension of common and shared responsibility. 

The study consists of three parts: 

  1. a representative population survey in Estonia – to study the participation of individuals in volunteer work and to analyze the changes compared to the year 2013; 
  1. research the capabilities of volunteer organisations to involve volunteers; 
  1. compile proposals and policy recommendations for the Civil Society program 2021-2030 and for  organisations that involve volunteers. 

Given the current developments in the field, the study focuses on the following target groups:  

  • volunteers, including professionals and newly arrived migrants, 
  • non-volunteers (why they do not participate in volunteer work at all or anymore), 
  • organisations that involve volunteers. 

Both participation in volunteer work as well as involving volunteers from the viewpoint of both volunteers and organisations is explored. 

50% of the research is being funded by the European Regional Development Fund under activity 2 Strengthening of sectoral R&D (RITA) and 50% by the Ministry of the Interior.