Voluntary service is at the heart of community-building. Volunteering promotes trust and reciprocity. It encourages people to be responsible citizens and provides them with an environment where they can learn the duties of democratic involvement. Volunteering within National Societies is carried out by people who are committed to the fundamental principles and motivated by their own free will without the expectation of material or financial gain. Our volunteers serve vulnerable people, and work towards a more humane and peaceful world. They contribute their time and skills regularly or occasionally in the delivery of services, in resource mobilization, administrative, governance or advisory functions. National Societies are committed to improve quality, standards, capacities and volunteer retention by creating a welcoming and socially inclusive environment. This environment means providing volunteers with training, supervision, regular evaluation and recognition, development opportunities that include designing and improving the work in which they are involved, insurance protection, equipment, psychosocial support and a supporting local structure relevant to the tasks that they carry out.
As living trends continue to change how people volunteer, including more informal and non-institutionalised ways, the International Federation advocates for legal, social and economic policies that encourage and value volunteering more strongly in society.