The Volunteer Experience Survey 2023 results are in

Published: 11 December 2023

We take a look at the Volunteer Experience Survey results for 2023 and how your feedback helps us make change for an even better year ahead.

A woman sits at a desk with her laptop on a video call.

What is the Volunteer Experience Survey?

The Volunteer Experience Survey is your opportunity to give us valuable insights into the experience of volunteering at Macmillan, helping us to understand what we do well and what we could do better. This year, 580 volunteers completed the survey – a significant increase on the 196 respondents to 2022’s survey. Thank you to each and every one of you who shared your views with us, which will enable us to drive change and continuously improve the experience of all Macmillan volunteers.

2022's results enabled us to:

  • Introduce the rolling recognition programme, Macmillan Moments
  • Refresh our volunteering learning and development offer
  • Improve the way we offer light-touch volunteering and involvement activities, by offering as 'Tasks’ on Assemble.

What we do well

This year, 84% of you told us that your overall experience of volunteering at Macmillan was very positive or positive, and 78% of you are likely or very likely to recommend volunteering at Macmillan to others. 'Meaningful', 'impactful' and 'enjoyable' emerged as the top 3 most important aspects of a positive volunteering experience with the following referenced as the most enjoyable parts of being a Macmillan volunteer:

  • Helping others
  • Meeting people
  • Making a difference
  • Giving back
  • Being part of a team
  • Raising money.

“I have had a very warm welcome when joining as a volunteer and am always able to ask any questions if I’m in doubt. Brilliant team to be part of.”
- Macmillan Buddy volunteer

“I feel so proud to volunteer for Macmillan. I look forward to being more involved to be able to help our clients even more than I’m doing now.”
- Horizon Centre volunteer








“The people I met. The experience I had, knowing together and alone we made a difference and change.” - Volunteer Voice Network Member



What we could do better

One of the biggest themes that emerged from this year's responses was the desire for a more connected approach with opportunities to meet and network with Macmillan volunteers and staff.

This year, we also asked about barriers to volunteering for the first time. Nearly one-third of respondents told us that they faced barriers to them giving time, particularly digital barriers.

“I am not particularly adept at IT.”

“The online training is not too clear.”





“A lack of personal contact and over reliance on online technology.”

The changes we're making

In response to what you've told us in this year's survey, we will be working with teams across the volunteering division to make positive changes, with a particular focus on the points you told us are most important to your volunteering experience, including:

  • Creating more opportunities to connect with staff and other volunteers
  • Addressing digital and financial exclusion
  • Offering a greater variety of ways to support Macmillan, through more ‘light-touch’ volunteering opportunities.

45% of respondents told us they would like to explore further opportunities for self-development. 45% of respondents would also like to explore different or additional volunteer roles and responsibilities. In response to this feedback, we will be launching a series of webinars in 2024. The webinars will showcase the different types of volunteering roles and opportunities available at Macmillan, allowing both existing and new volunteers to explore the variety of ways they can give time and further develop their skills.

We plan to bring you regular updates throughout 2024 communicating what else we're doing to address the points of feedback from the survey. A massive thank you again to all of you who shared your views with us to help us make the experience of volunteering at Macmillan the best it can possibly be.

70% of respondents agree that they feel able to provide feedback on their volunteering role and make suggestions for change. This survey is a key way of providing us with valuable feedback, but if you'd like to continue to share your voice and experience to support the development of volunteering within Macmillan, join the Volunteer Voice Network. You'll be able to contribute your insight and knowledge to help us ensure that all volunteers have an outstanding volunteering experience with Macmillan. View the role listing to find out more and apply.