What is Volunteering?

What is Volunteering?

People volunteering

Volunteering means giving time without being paid. The work must adhere to the following conditions:

  • It is in the public interest or in a particular social interest. 
  • It is non-profit.
  • It cannot replace paid work. 

When in doubt, ask the organisation that offers volunteer work if your tasks meet these requirements:

Volunteering Makes A Difference

Volunteering will allow you to not only make a difference in the lives of others but it can also help yourself! According to statistics from Time Bank (2009), "62% of regular formal volunteers say that start volunteering because they want to improve things/help people". It is also stated that 65% of regular formal volunteers get satisfaction from seeing the results.

Volunteering Is Job Friendly 

Furthermore, 84% of people responsible for hiring agree that volunteering is a way to help people find work. In addition, during recruitment, 80% of employers value positively on volunteering on a CV. Moreover, 70% of employers believe that those who volunteer have a bette chance of earning a higher salary and gaining promotion according to Time Bank (2009). 

Volunteering Is Healthy

According to Make A Difference Day Survey, ICM Research in the UK (2004) 71% of volunteers who offer their professional skills and experience say volunteering helps combat depression. Also volunteering helps improve physical healthy and fitness to up to 47% of the people. 30% of 18-24 year-old smokers say volunteering helps them smoke less and 25% of people who volunteer more than five times a year say volunteering has helped them lose weight.

Volunteering is Social 

The Canadian Center for Philanthropy Research Program (2004) , says that "79% said that their volunteer activities helped them with their interpersonal skills, such as understanding people better, motivating others, and dealing with difficult situations". 

And lastly 68% said that volunteering helped them to develop better communication skills.

Types of Volunteering

Volunteer jobs come in all shapes and sizes. The time commitment can differ from a few hours a day to an entire week. Tasks vary in complexity and specialisation and may you may be by yourself or within a team environment with co-workers or friends.

Agreement and Insurance

Voluntary Agreement

To prevent any misunderstandings, make a written agreement with the organisation where you plan to volunteer. The following responsibilities and conditions should be included in the agreement:

  • the work you are performing
  • the time limit for the work
  • any voluntary payment or travel expenses
  • rights and obligations
  • training and education

If an organisation doesn't offer a voluntary agreement you can download one here.


'De Haagse Polis' is a free insurance policy for all volunteers in the Municipality of The Hague. Every citizen of The Hague doing organized voluntary work on a single or regular basis has a right to this policy. This policy covers work related injuries, personal valuables, right to legal assistance and liability insurance. This insurance is very comprehensive. If loss or damage occurs, you or the organisation you volunteer with can contact Bureau Gemeentelijke Risicomanagement van de Gemeente Den Haag, email: or call (070) 353 51 75.