ADD2182 Reward and incentivisation for volunteering – market research

Type of decision: 
Assistant Director's decision
Date signed: 
14 December 2017
Decision by: 
Laura Cordingley Nee Brown , Assistant Director, Team London

Executive summary

The GLA’s Team London is exploring how rewards and recognition can support an increase in volunteering levels in London.  One strand of this work is a pilot programme, which seeks to understand the motivations and behaviours of those aged 10 to 20 in connection to volunteering – particularly amongst those who have not previously volunteered (approved by AD2171). 
This ADD is seeking approval for complementary market research on branding for the rewards and recognition programme (for ages 10 to 20) and the motivations of those aged 20+who are not currently included in the pilot, but who we need to scope for the future to create a London wide offer.  There will also be a focus on older groups with low participation in volunteering.  This will then create an evidence base so that once the pilot work with young people has concluded, recommendations can be brought forward for rewards and recognition offers, spanning a broad age range, that will encourage volunteering.


That the Assistant Director of Team London approves:

1.    Expenditure of up to £40,000 on market research to test branding options for the 10 to 20 year old reward and recognition programme and testing to explore attitudes and behaviours towards social action and volunteering activity in the 20+ age group. In particular, research will focus on groups who have not previously had high levels of volunteering and social action activity.

Part 1: Non-confidential facts and advice

Introduction and background

1.1    Team London are delivering a pilot programme with v•inspired, an organisation who support young people in taking up social action and volunteering activities. This pilot looks at the reward and recognition of volunteering and social action activity for young people. The programme seeks to understand motivations and behaviours related to volunteering, enabling us to increase volunteering levels, amongst those who have not previously volunteered. 

1.2    The research for which this ADD seeks expenditure approval will enhance our Young London Inspired Programme (MD2171).
1.3    The programme contains three complementary streams which will create accessible, supported pathways from which the young people of London will engage with social action and volunteering. These streams create a pathway for involvement for young people, embedding volunteering from school age, cultivating their abilities to participate or self-organise a project and gain funding for it, and for this journey to be rewarded and recognised for activity.
1.4       Between October 2017 and the end of March 2018 v•inspired will complete pilot work to develop and test reward and recognition mechanisms associated with volunteering. As approved in MD2171 Team London is contributing £50,000 to help fund development activity. 
1.5    Team London has successfully used incentivisation for its Team London Ambassador programme and Major Events programme including items like pin badges, event day t-shirts, uniform items for example backpacks, jackets and hats along with spice time credits and the opportunity to attend the annual celebration networking event. This scheme works well to engage and retain up to 65% of our volunteer database annually. However, the programme is for volunteers aged 18+ so there is a distinct gap between the existing data that we have around this type of volunteering opportunity and the wider view of how to incentivise younger people and those from more diverse groups to volunteer, hence the need for this research

Objectives and expected outcomes

2.1    A section of this work will focus on young people aged 10-20, working with v•inspired, a charity for young people.

2.2    We are aware that behaviours and motivations can change over time. Current research from our HeadStart programme shows that the young people get involved because they want to build their skills, confidence and improve their employability. People over the age of 20 may not share these same aims and objectives, and instead have different motivations for participating in volunteering, for example making new friends or giving something back to their community.

2.3    To ensure maximum productivity from this programme we need to think about an offer that is of benefit and interest to all Londoners in the long term.

2.4    We will also complete market research on the behaviours and motivations of the older population. This will include both people over 20 as a whole, and an additional focus on groups who have lower participation rates in volunteering such as men from BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) groups or people with lower levels of educational attainment.  This will enable us to gain insight into how we would need to shape the branding of a reward and recognition offer for a 20+ age group and also test out motivation and attitudes for these groups with low volunteering and social action participation. This will then create an evidence base so that when we have concluded our pilot work with young people we have some ideas and recommendations about a universal offer.

2.5    We would also like to carry out research on the 10 to 20 year old age group for the reward and recognition programme. This will help determine the correct branding to use within the programme. Currently, the pilot is branded ‘Supported by Mayor of London’. The market research will determine whether this level of association with the Mayor of London should increase, decrease or remain the same. 

2.6       We will be working with the Intelligence team to ensure that the design of the research is appropriate and that in-house resource and expertise will be used for delivery where possible. We will be working with the Intelligence team to scope out the specification for the work, how to go out to tender if appropriate and how to achieve value for money in the work being carried out.


Equality comments

3.1       Equal Opportunities are enshrined within Team London’s programmes. Team London volunteering projects aim to ensure that all Londoners can access volunteering opportunities. The programmes eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation, and indeed by doing so support other Londoners equally throughout the city.

3.2       Our projects particularly promote equal life chances; reducing barriers to social mobility, demonstrating improvements in social integration and effective community engagement. This will involve working with young people, under-represented and disconnected Londoners to connect them, through volunteering, with education, training and the world of work. 

3.3       Our work also embraces London’s diversity by connecting Londoners from a variety of demographical and geographical backgrounds regardless of race, disability, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion or belief, pregnancy and maternity and gender reassignment together in support of common causes and events. In addition we recognise volunteers from every area in London through our Awards ceremony.

3.4       We actively advance equality of opportunity between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic, for example Team London has targeted itself with growing the numbers of volunteers aged 59+ in the capital. This particular programme has long been popular with retirees and will continue to target all age groups.


Other considerations

Key risks and issues

4.1     There is a risk that we do not have sufficient data to make meaningful changes to our offer and ensure that a product is developed which appeals to all Londoners. The research that we are proposing will enable us to have an evidence base to draw on which we do not have currently.

4.2     We are not able to obtain a suitable market research organisation to carry out the work. The research will be awarded via a competitive process which will ensure that we are able to compare offers from different organisations. We will draw on the experience of our Intelligence and Marketing colleagues to look at their supplier framework and in shaping the specification.

Mayoral Priorities and strategies

4.3    The Mayor wishes to support all Londoners to volunteer and participate in social action. Team London hope that by rewarding and recognising volunteering and understanding the barriers that face some when it comes to participation, that we will be able to uplift the rate of volunteering. We have an interest in ensuring that those who have not volunteered before and/or are from diverse and deprived communities are able to participate. Volunteering has multiple benefits for participants, including improved wellbeing and also skills development, which can open up education, training and employment opportunities. 

Impact assessment and consultation

4.4     Team London consult relevant groups and stakeholders when undertaking any new programmes. We scoped out existing reward and recognition programmes working across London, explored the ideas in a roundtable with voluntary sector organisations and think-tanks and are using a test and learn approach to this work so that we can adapt and flex the work as we go.

4.5     There is an established Advisory Board for Team London to ensure we have the voice of all relevant parties shaping the future of the programme to ensure it is relevant, efficient and delivering the best volunteering related outcomes for Londoners. 


Financial comments

5.1    Approval is being sought for expenditure up to £40,000 to carry out market research and testing to explore attitudes and behaviours towards social action and volunteering activity.

5.2    This expenditure will be funded from the 2017-18 Reward and Recognition programme budget within the Team London and Sports unit.

Planned delivery approach and next steps




Procurement of contract

January 2017

Delivery Start Date

January 2018 (internally led work)

February 2018 (externally contracted work)

Delivery of focus groups, delivery of survey/questionnaire (depends on delivery partner suggested approach)

February 2018

Final evaluation start and finish

February/March 2018

Delivery End Date

February/March 2018

Project Closure:

March 2018


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