Volunteers Involving Organization Network (VIONet) was co-founded by VSO and UNV. It is a network of progressive organizations that connect volunteers who seek to collaborate with the government, unions, think tanks, foundations, non-governmental organizations (NGO) and the private sector to complement and add value in the area of promoting Volunteerism for peace and development. VIONet provides a platform for collective and coordinated answers to volunteerism, joint initiatives, for exchanging information and experience on volunteerism and policy related initiatives and ideas; for strengthening membership, supporting local and international campaigns, improving regional networking and solidarity activities.
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Clearly, volunteers—an unpaid workforce available to further the goals and to help meet an array of needs in resource-constrained organizations—represent one of the critical competitive advantages of the nonprofit sector. An estimated 80 percent of third sector organizations report engaging volunteers in service capacities (Hager, 2004). Although comparable volunteer data pertaining to the public sector is elusive, we do know that volunteers are heavily engaged in public safety work
Furthermore, misconceptions about volunteer engagement abound. Executives in both sectors fear opening Pandora’s box should they misstep with their community engagement strategies. Nonetheless, informed top-level support is critical to maximizing volunteer participation; managing diverse volunteer community interests and resources; facilitating productive relations among staff, volunteers, and clients; protecting against volunteer-related liabilities; and ensuring that voluntary labor connects with the organization’s strategic goals.
To accelerate progress in the recognition, promotion, facilitation, networking and integration of volunteer action by and between Governments, communities, civil society,the private sector, academia, the media and international actors, including the United Nations system.