Why You Should Include Student Volunteers In Your Voluntary Organisation

In part one of the series "Engaging the Future: Leveraging Student Volunteers for Social Impact", you'll learn about the benefits of students!

Why You Should Include Student Volunteers In Your Voluntary Organisation

It’s September, you know what that means… The new school year just started and this will lead to a surge of new, fresh energy in cities. Young from all over the city, region, country - even the world - are starting a new journey in which they will develop and learn more about themselves, and society as a whole. The influx (and sometimes efflux) of young people can lead to a lot of changes for the community in your region. Changes can be daunting, but if you’re a bit like me, you’ll see a lot of opportunities arise. 

Look, we know that recruiting and retaining volunteers continues to be a challenge for many working in the charity sector. With large numbers of volunteer opportunities needing to be filled, it is necessary that charities and volunteer centres (VCs) focus on effectively obtaining new volunteers. The opportunities we’re seeing is a brand new group of volunteers. The ones that haven’t been to your region before. Young people, with a particular set of skills, acquired over a short career. The target group I’m talking about is one that could provide several significant benefits to your organisation: student, and don’t worry, there are a lot of them!

In this series “Engaging the Future: Leveraging Student Volunteers for Social Impact”, I’ll discuss everything student volunteer related for your organisation. I’ll discuss the benefits, how to best attract and retain them, and will give extra tips and impact examples. I’ll start with the first part: why you should include student volunteers in your voluntary organisation.

Why should I include student volunteers in my voluntary organisation?

Let’s start with the fact that there’s overwhelming evidence that suggests that there are many benefits to youth volunteerism. But what are the benefits for your charity or volunteer centre specifically? Let me give you 4 clear reasons why you should include and engage with student volunteers.

Diverse Skillsets, Fresh Perspectives, and Willing to Learn

Student volunteers bring a wealth of diverse skillsets and fresh perspectives to voluntary organisations. With a passion for learning and a willingness to embrace new challenges, they often introduce innovative ideas and solutions that can invigorate your volunteer program. From digital natives who effortlessly navigate the latest technologies to out-of-the-box creatives with a keen eye for design, the talents of student volunteers can be harnessed across numerous roles. Whether it's revamping your social media presence, developing engaging educational materials, or spearheading community outreach initiatives, their creativity and adaptability can breathe new life into your projects.

A great example would be digital support. The Charity Skills Digital Report 2022 indicated that almost three quarters (72%) of charities are actively looking to develop their digital skills with around 68% recognising social media and website improvements to be number one priority for the future. Guys, do we have to spell this out? Students have grown up in the digitalisation generation. As a result they often have a lot of experience with a range of digital platforms and social media sites. Therefore, a simple way to improve your organisation’s digital skills would be through employing students who are often much more comfortable and up to date with the newest digital technology tricks. 

Last, students are known to be quick and adaptable learners with a keen curiosity in new work spaces. Often young people who are studying or have recently completed their studies are not afraid to ask questions to help their development and to better understand how to be more effective in their role. This would be beneficial for your organisation as you have the ability to support and teach the organic growth of the younger generations working in your community.

Energising Volunteer Teams

The presence of student volunteers can serve as a catalyst for energising your existing volunteer teams. Their enthusiasm, boundless energy, and eagerness to contribute can have a contagious effect, reinvigorating the entire volunteer community. They bring a youthful spirit that often leads to increased morale and camaraderie among volunteers. Through collaborative efforts and the blending of different generations and backgrounds, student volunteers can inspire a renewed sense of purpose and dedication within your volunteer team, fostering a more vibrant and dynamic atmosphere.

Community Engagement

Engaging with the local community, particularly among younger demographics, is a vital aspect of volunteer programs. Young people are reportedly the hardest group to reach, and student volunteers offer a bridge to these communities, making it easier to connect with a broader audience. Their relatability and shared experiences can facilitate meaningful interactions and outreach efforts. Whether it's organising youth-focused events, conducting educational workshops, or leveraging their social networks, student volunteers play a crucial role in building stronger ties between your organisation and the community you serve.

Developing Future Leaders

Involvement in volunteering can be a transformative experience for student volunteers, nurturing their leadership skills and igniting a lifelong commitment to social impact. Many student volunteers start with a willingness to lend a hand, but they often leave with newfound leadership abilities, a deeper understanding of community needs, and a heightened sense of social responsibility. By providing opportunities for them to take on leadership roles within your organisation, you not only empower them to make a difference today but also lay the foundation for a future generation of dedicated ambassadors and leaders within the voluntary sector.


Look, probably you were already convinced that student volunteers are uncut gems and should be part of your organisation. However, it’s far more likely that you are experiencing problems in actually recruiting them for your organisation. No worries, that’s exactly what I’ll be covering in the next installment. Stay tuned ;-)

Some highlights of 5 years at Deedmob

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Gerbrand Holland

Growth Manager

Gerbrand Holland is Growth Manager at Deedmob