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The English voluntary sector: How volunteering and policy climate perceptions matter

Kendall, Jeremy, Mohan, John, Brookes, Nadia, Yoon, Yeosun (2018) The English voluntary sector: How volunteering and policy climate perceptions matter. Journal of Social Policy, 47 (4). pp. 759-782. ISSN 0047-2794. E-ISSN 1469-7823. (doi:10.1017/S0047279418000107)

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Abstract

This paper considers the situation of the English voluntary sector in relation to austerity-driven social policies. Existing characterisations are outlined and it is argued that the quantitative evidence used to represent the situation of these organisations to date has been partial because it relies too narrowly on financial resource input measures. We argue that the situation of these organisations needs to be conceptualised in a more holistic way and, to initiate a move in this direction, we identify and explicate two relevant dimensions: the perceived capacity of organisations to rely on volunteers for support (a non-financial resource input); and their perception of the effect of the policy climate in shaping their capacity to flourish, including their ability to perform multiple roles beyond service provision alone. We draw on an original mixed methods empirical study undertaken in England in 2015 to operationalise these dimensions, combining qualitative interviews with national ‘policy community’ members with a large scale on-line survey of social policy charities. We find a complex and variegated situation that, while acknowledging the fundamental importance of financial resource pressures, also points to the salience of the volunteering situation, and to the relevance of the challenging policy climate that these organisations have to navigate.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1017/S0047279418000107
Uncontrolled keywords: voluntary sector
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Jeremy Kendall
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2018 15:17 UTC
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2020 15:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/66115 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Kendall, Jeremy: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1139-0844
Brookes, Nadia: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6661-2814
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