Research Report

Volunteering for All: national framework - literature review



Rutherford A, Bu F, Dawson A & McCall V (2019) Volunteering for All: national framework - literature review. Scottish Government. Social Research: People, Communities and Places.

This report outlines a systematic review of the research literature on volunteering. The purpose of this review is to inform the development of a Volunteering Outcomes Framework to support the critical role that volunteering plays in Scotland for volunteers, beneficiaries and wider communities. This literature review is the first element in a programme of analytical and policy research in support of the development of the Volunteering Outcomes Framework by the Scottish Government. The scoping work for the literature review identified that there was a significant body of evidence on volunteering, but that this had not been brought together and applied to the Scottish context. The review has a broad remit: to include evidence on volunteer characteristics; motivations; activities; benefits; outcomes; barriers; and policies in other countries. It considers research quality, and identifies areas where there are knowledge gaps. In this review we first provide an overview of the coverage of the papers included in the review. We then describe the papers that were reviewed in more detail in a thematic structure that firstly examines literature that gives insight into the complexity of volunteering with specific attention to different groups, activities and organisations linked to volunteering.

FundersScottish Government
Title of seriesSocial Research: People, Communities and Places
Publication date25/04/2019
Publication date online25/04/2019
Publisher URL…comes-framework/
ISSN of series9781787816558

People (3)


Dr Alison Dawson
Dr Alison Dawson

Senior Research Fellow, Faculty of Social Sciences

Dr Vikki McCall
Dr Vikki McCall

Senior Lecturer, Housing Studies

Professor Alasdair Rutherford
Professor Alasdair Rutherford

Professor, Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology