Mission statement

VSSN is an association whose members are engaged in research on the voluntary sector and volunteering, those who commission or support research and those who seek to apply research findings in their work.

VSSN is a registered charity: it is established for the advancement of public education concerning the voluntary sector in the United Kingdom in four ways as set out in the VSSN Constitution.

The Steering Group (VSSN’s trustees) have issued this ‘Mission Statement’ to explain the focus and activities of the organisation in more detail.

Voluntary sector studies is a multi-disciplinary field of study which is described and defined by a variety of terms but can be understood as embracing research on;

  • the activities and behaviour of organisations which are neither part of the state nor driven by the imperatives of the market; and
  • the activities of individuals undertaken of their own free will and without expectation of material reward.

We believe that the study of the voluntary sector and volunteering is not only important in its own right as a field of intellectual enquiry but can also inform the development and implementation of a range of public policies and the management and leadership of voluntary organisations.

VSSN therefore aims to contribute to the support and development of this field as well as providing a means through which its members can exchange information; share experience; and come together for mutual support.

We pursue those aims by:

  • sponsoring a journal – the Voluntary Sector Review;
  • organising an annual research conference (in collaboration with NCVO and IVR) and other events;
  • providing face-to-face and virtual opportunities for interaction with other members;
  • promoting a better understanding of the voluntary sector and volunteering through research; and
  • providing a voice for those who are engaged in research in the field.

About VSSN