8th September 2015 - 9th September 2015

Rose Bowl, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds

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On 8-9 September 2015 academics, policymakers and practitioners from the UK and abroad met at Leeds Beckett University. Over the two days they shared and discussed researching ideas and issues related to voluntary organisations and volunteering in the context of contemporary challenges.

Storify summary of the conference

Conference Programme

Keynote speech – Julian Corner

Conference Abstracts

The Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference is the leading UK-based interdisciplinary research conference for academics, policy makers and practitioners with a shared interest in researching issues related to voluntary organisations and volunteering in the context of contemporary challenges. Civil society organisations, citizens and volunteers are critical components in the fabric of society, promoting social participation and contributing to democracy in diverse forms.

In 2015 VSSN. NCVO and the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) again worked in partnership to organise the event.

The conference is a space to share new and emerging research and foster discussion between researchers, practitioners and policymakers. It aims to:

  • Contribute to evidence and theory-building in the field
  • Develop emerging research ideas
  • Inform and be informed by the work of practitioners
  • Inform and influence policy

This year, proposals were sought which related to one or more of the following themes:

  • Civil society and democracy: new challenges and opportunities?
  • Volunteering and participation in times of change: past, present and future?
  • Grassroots voluntary activity in challenging times: past perspectives and new forms?
  • Diversity, inequalities and the voluntary sector: uneven engagement and impacts?
  • Social welfare and voluntary services: evolving relationships between civil society, the state and the market?
  • Funding the future? Funding, fundraising and philanthropy in challenging times
  • Voluntary sector governance and management: relationships within and across organisations
  • Education and training in and on the voluntary sector: what do we know? What do we need?
  • New directions in theoretical debates and research methods: learning from diverse perspectives?