The research aims to identify the main factors and obstacles supporting the development of volunteering in municipalities as a basis for volunteering as an additional human resource in the provision of social services in the municipality. It has been achieved through qualitative analysis and generalization of academic literature and other publicly available sources. The article adheres to the opinion that volunteering is a phenomenon that is becoming increasingly important in democratic societies. In the analyzed context of public administration, we treat volunteering as follows: activities that create social benefits for society; freely assumed obligations authorized by agreement; activities appropriate to mutual assistance; unpaid activities of public service; useful work; activities satisfying the needs of human self-realization; activities allowing to acquire professional skills. All the components of this multifaceted definition evidence the social benefit to society, and at the same time to the municipality, where volunteering is being developed.
The analysis of academic literature and the good practice of other countries in the development of volunteering showed that the social benefits created by volunteering are complex, the social impact is a long-term and systemic. The social benefits created by volunteering affect the volunteer him/herself, the organization that hosts the volunteer, the community of service provision, the service recipient and his/her family members, society.
The study revealed the following factors activating volunteering in the municipality: recognition of volunteering benefits and support at all levels of government; determination and periodic analysis of obstacles to involvement of volunteers in social activities; formation of volunteers’ involvement mechanism and administration of activities thereof; material and information resources for the coordination and support of volunteering activities; competent human resources to activate and involve volunteering; mutual co-operation of the municipal administration units and departments; cooperation of the municipal administration with NGOs and state-financed organizations in developing volunteering in municipalities; dissemination of good practice; inclusion of volunteering activities in curricula of pre-school educational institutions.
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