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Volunteer Centres: Current State, Looming Issues, Future Outlook

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This much is clear: Volunteer Centres are vital to build and sustain local and regional volunteer ecosystems. Often seen as the “one-stop” help for individuals looking to get involved in the community, Volunteer Centres are not only remarkable at surviving funding and policy changes but they have also inspired the development of volunteering innovations like service-learning, community service, family volunteering, and corporate volunteering. 

But this much is clear, too: Volunteer Centres throughout the world can no longer operate as they have always done. Volunteer Centres have to be responsive to the changing times they helped bring about or they will lose their ability to create a volunteering legacy for the future. Inspired leadership and creative vision are absolutely critical elements for Volunteer Centers to move forward, with experts predicting that a high-tech, high-energy, Apple Store-style social action centre may help redefine the Volunteer Centre of the future. 

From Canada to the Netherlands to Australia, from the United States to the United Kingdom, six experts on Volunteer Centres join together in this critical and provocative Keyboard Roundtable to discuss the issues facing Volunteer Centres around the globe. These issues, the experts discovered, are quite often the same regardless of geography.