People working collaboratively using post-it notes. Their arms and torsos are visible. They are sat at a table with refreshments.

Understanding the motivations and needs of volunteers who get people online

Open Data Manchester are working with Manchester City Council on a programme of work that will help understand how digital exclusion is impacting local communities, how to support the people who volunteer and to help build capacity in community organisations to develop a user needs approach to their programmes.

The first part of the programme has been to carry out research to help the council develop a sustainable digital champions programme, so that those that volunteer feel supported, valued and have a stake in the support process. The work tries to identify volunteer motivations and provides recommendations for support and progression within the programme and externally.

The report explores the experience of both those who volunteer in-person and those who help people online or over-the-phone. Whilst there are notable differences in their experiences, we identify and explore the following key themes:

  • motivations for volunteering
  • registering, training and receiving support
  • challenges to volunteering.

The findings and recommendations found in this report are based upon workshops, conversations and a survey that took place between July and September 2022.

Download the report here.