Minister Canney launches Call for Input Paper on Volunteering

Published 7 December 2018

The Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development, Mr. Sean Canney, TD, today (7 December 2018) launched a Call for Input Paper on Volunteering.

This paper is the first step in developing a national volunteering strategy. It will inform stakeholders about the proposed development of a national volunteering strategy and seek their views on what constitutes volunteering and what this strategy should contain.

The Minister said: “One of my Department’s key objectives, as outlined in our Statement of Strategy 2017-2020, is the development of a national strategy on volunteering.”

Volunteers make an enormous contribution to Irish society, developing communities as vibrant, inclusive and sustainable places where people want to live. The very real economic, cultural and social benefits of volunteering permeate through an incredibly diverse range of activities.

Central Statistics Office (CSO) data gathered in the Quarterly National Household Survey (QNHS) in 2013 indicated that the overall rate of volunteering for the country stood at 28.4%, or over a million people.

Minister Canney continued: “It is important all stakeholders are involved from the very beginning in the development of a national volunteering strategy, so that their views are captured and reflected in the development of the final strategy which emerges.

“This is particularly important in view of the length of time which has elapsed since the previous policy documents on volunteering – the White Paper on a Framework for Supporting Voluntary Activity and for Developing the Relationship between the State and the Community and Voluntary Sector (2000) and the subsequent “Tipping the Balance” document (2002).”

While much has been achieved in the interim in terms of the development and funding of volunteering infrastructure on a nation-wide basis, it is now timely to develop a national volunteering strategy which will result in a shared vision for the future of Irish volunteering.

The participation of a broad range of stakeholders is key to the development of this strategy. As a result, it is also proposed to establish a National Advisory Group, representative of all stakeholders and chaired by the Department of Rural and Community Development to inform the Department’s development of the strategy.

When the draft strategy is developed, a further opportunity will be offered, by means of a public consultation process, for any further views on the strategy before it is finalised.

Minister Canney concluded: “This is an important opportunity for both the volunteering sector and the general public to have their voice heard in the development of a national volunteering strategy. I would urge all interested parties to engage with this initiative and input proactively into the development of a strategy for the future of volunteering in Ireland.”

Notes to Editor

If you would like to contribute your views on volunteering, please download the Submission Form from The closing date for submissions is Thursday 14th February 2019.

What address should I email if I have a question?

You can send questions to

What phone number should I call if I have a question?

You can call (076) 100 6950 with any questions you have.

How do I make a submission?

To return a submission electronically, please download the Submission Form and send your completed submission to in Word.doc format. Please note that returning the submissions in this format is required to facilitate the collation of information. If you wish, you may also return your submission in PDF format and Word.doc format.

The subject line of your submission should read ‘Volunteering CFI Submission.’

What address should I send hardcopy applications to?

To return a submission in hard copy, please download the Submission Form and send your completed submission address below:

Ben Richardson

An Roinn Forbartha Tuaithe agus Pobail

Trinity Point, 10-11 Sráid Laighean Theas, Baile Atha Cliath 2, D02 EF85

Department of Rural and Community Development

Trinity Point, 10-11 Leinster Street South, Dublin 2, D02 EF85