Slovenia has a long tradition of voluntary work. Voluntary activities are deeply rooted in our society, in particular, they are predominantly used in solving the most difficult social problems and unveiling the problems of individuals and groups where state institutions have not yet been involved, or have ceased to be. In particular, volunteering is the basis of operation for fire brigade societies, societies of retired people, friends of youth societies, mountaineering and sports societies, the Red Cross, Caritas, self-help organisations and numerous other humanitarian, cultural and sports organisations. The data show that around a quarter of Slovenian youth are active in firefighting societies, and just under 17 percent in the scouts.
There is no single public body responsible for volunteering in Slovenia. Different Ministries and Government Offices are involved. The Ministry of Public Administration is leading the process of drafting the new National strategy for the development of non-governmental sector and volunteering, based on Volunteering Act in Slovenia. The Ministry of Public Administration is also the key actor in promoting volunteering in Slovenia.
Voluntary work is predominantly carried out in non-governmental organisations, such as societies, private institutions, foundations, but also in some public institutions (health, social security, education). The sources of funding for voluntary activities are dispersed and little systematic information is available on this matter. The largest proportion of funds comes from governmental and municipal sources or from NGOs’ own assets.
On the basis of Volunteering Act, the Government established the Council of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for the Promotion of Volunteering, Voluntary Organizations and NGOs. The Council monitors, identifies and assesses the situation of voluntary and non-governmental organizations and takes initiatives to encourage their development, gives suggestions for the development and adoption of regulations and measures necessary for the implementation of national policies related to voluntary and non-governmental organizations.
Slovenia has not introduced a national strategy or programme on youth volunteering. However, the National Programme for Youth 2013-2022 (Resolucija o nacionalnem programu za mladino 2013‒2022) introduces youth volunteering and encouragement of youth volunteering as its important objective. Among the priority guidelines of the Programme is to promote volunteering among young people and reduce the proportion of young people who never engage in voluntary activities.