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EACEA National Policies Platform


2. Voluntary Activities

Last update: 7 January 2021

The major development of voluntary work in Spain happened during the 90’s. The voluntary organizations increased exponentially and so did their institutionalization and professionalization which meant the creation of platforms and federations at the State and regional level. 1996 meant the creation of the first State Law 6/1996 with the purpose of promoting and facilitating the participation of society on volunteer actions within public or private non-profit organizations. Since then, almost all Autonomous Regions have developed their own legislations.

Ministry of Social Rights and 2030 Agenda is responsible for the government and promotion of volunteering on a state scale. Several platforms have been designed in order to supply information and to serve as guidance for volunteering associations as well as for volunteers themselves. A new Volunteer State Law 45/2015 (Ley 45/2015 de Voluntariado) was approved in 2015, making access to volunteering easier for a wider sector of the population

According to the report “The Volunteer action in 2018” (La acción voluntaria en 2018) produced by the Spanish Volunteering Platform, 40.6 % of the Spanish population over 14 years of age collaborates in some way with NGO and 6.2 % are volunteers (data from October 2018). The highest percentage of volunteers is between 25 and 54 years of age. 12.1% of youth within this age group state that they belong to some volunteering organisation. In case of youth volunteering (between 14 and 24), there has been a decrease from 9.6% in 2014 to 6.9% in 2017 and 4.5% in 2018. And the highest volunteering percentage is found in social volunteering, both for men and women.