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Department of Rural and Community Development
The Department of Rural and Community Development is the main government department responsible for volunteering. The Department is responsible for Voluntary Organisation Funding. This includes the Scheme to Support National Organisations (SSNO). SNNO provides funding to voluntary organisations in Ireland. Organisations that want to apply must focus on providing supports and improving the lives of disadvantaged people.
Volunteer Ireland is the national volunteer development organisation and a support body for all local Volunteer Centres and Volunteering Information Services in Ireland.
The key roles of Volunteer Ireland are:
- To promote and recognise volunteering in Ireland through campaigns
- To manage I-VOL, the national database of Irish volunteering opportunities and listings
- To support national volunteer involving organisations
- To support companies interested in volunteering
- To offer volunteer management services for large-scale public events and festivals
- To offer Student Abroad Service Learning Programmes for third level students
- To develop and support best practice in volunteering and Volunteer Centres.
Public Participation Network
The Public Participation Network is a network that allows local authorities to connect with community groups around the country. The Public Participation Network is the 'go to' for all local authorities who wish to benefit from community and voluntary expertise in their area.
Boardmatch Ireland is the national corporate governance charity in Ireland. It was set up to improve governance in the not-for-profit sector by strengthening boards and management committees, providing services and support to not-for-profit organisations and charities to help them improve and strengthen their board composition.
It allows candidates to volunteer their time, energy and skills to the non-profit (community and voluntary sector) at a board level. The free Boardmatch service matches a candidate's skills and expertise with the needs of a non-profit organisation.
While Ireland does not have a national youth strategy on volunteering, there is a National Volunteering Strategy targeting the general population. This Strategy includes a specific section on young volunteers.
Partnership is a core value underpinning the Strategy. It states “We developed this Strategy through partnership and a collaborative approach and this will continue as we implement the Strategy actions over the coming years.” As part of developing the Strategy, the Department of Rural and Community Development issued a Call for Input, which sought input from the public and stakeholders.
The Strategy acknowledges that one of the challenges to Ireland’s volunteering infrastructure is a need to encourage cross-sectoral dialogue.
For more information on the National Volunteering Strategy 2021-25 please see Chapter 2.3 National strategy on youth volunteering.