IAVE is a global voice for volunteering, advocating for more volunteering, done more effectively, to have greater impact. We are the connective tissue that enables volunteer leaders worldwide to stand in solidarity with one another, working together on issues of critical importance to the field.

The framework for IAVE’s advocacy efforts is the Universal Declaration on Volunteering. It was developed and affirmed by the IAVE Board of Directors at the 1990 IAVE World Volunteer Conference in Paris. In January 2001, it was revised and re-issued at the kick-off of the United Nations International Year of Volunteers at the IAVE World Volunteer Conference in Amsterdam.

It reads in part:

“This Declaration supports the right of every woman, man and child to associate freely and to volunteer regardless of their cultural and ethnic origin, religion, age, gender, and physical, social or economic condition.

All people in the world should have the right to freely offer their time, talent, and energy to others and to their communities through individual and collective action, without expectation of financial reward.”

It is toward realization of this core belief that IAVE works and invites others in the global volunteer community to join with us.

IAVE’s advocacy agenda is focused on:

  • increasing understanding and acceptance of volunteering as a strategic asset to help achieve the United Nations Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals, working in partnership with United Nations Volunteers;
  • promoting adoption by governments of the ILO Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work to include volunteering in their national accounts, working in cooperation with the Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies;
  • supporting more effective volunteer management through professional certification, in collaboration with the Council for Certification in Volunteer Administration;
  • building understanding by governments, the business community and international agencies of the critical role of national leadership organizations (e.g., national volunteer centers) in developing high impact volunteering;
  • encouraging global businesses to commit to increasing the scope and impact of their volunteer efforts, offering opportunities to serve to all of their employees; and,
  • helping young people and employers to understand the value of volunteering as part of the preparation for youth to enter the paid workforce.