National volunteer engagement survey for students' unions

NUS has developed a volunteer engagement survey to help students' unions understand more about how volunteers feel about the valuable roles they play in your work. The survey ran for the first time in early 2016 and registration is now open for the 2017 survey.

Developed in partnership with Agenda Consulting, specialists in staff and volunteer benchmarking in the not-for-profit sector, this survey runs along similar lines to the employee engagement survey that many students' unions will already know.

This questionnaire aimed at people who volunteer directly for your union, typically including:

  • Elected representatives such as part-time Officers
  • Council members
  • Course representatives
  • Clubs and Societies (presidents and secretaries)
  • Sports clubs, student media and RAG
  • Volunteers on key union activities such as open days, Fresher’s etc.
  • Trustees
  • Community volunteering on your own students’ union specific projects.

The survey provides insight into how and why people volunteer, the level of engagement or disengagement, their experience of volunteering and how this varies for different volunteer groups. The information can provide a baseline or benchmark for future work with volunteers, and can also support Investing in Volunteers accreditation. 

Similar to the employee survey, your results are benchmarked against other participating students' unions and the wider third sector.

More Information

The 2017 survey is now closed but you can still see details, including the questions, here:

2017 Volunteer Engagement Survey Infosheet

If you have any questions or would like to register, please contact me at