I don’t see the for-profit element causing a problem at all

Social enterprise – making a profit to invest in good causes – is nothing new. Charities (and others) have been doing it for years. All charity retail is effectively a social enterprise and you could argue that fundraising is too. That’s why the term non-profit is so wrong in my view. Profit is fine, its what you do with it that defines if you are a business (as my company is) or something else.

So, as charity shop and fundraising volunteers would have access to free CRB check (if they needed to have them) I don’t see why Social enterprise volunteers would be different.

I hope that’s some help.

PS – we always encourage people to state their organisation and role (assuming they have these) in their email signatures. It helps with us knowing who we all are in the group.

Although the CRB does not charge a fee for volunteers, CRB check forms have to be processed by an Umbrella Body. Most Umbrella Bodies do charge for processing all applications for CRB check, even for volunteers. The charges vary quite widely from one Umbrella Body to another.

I think that the setting is not entirely relevant, good practice is good practice, there are businesses that involve volunteers such as private care homes etc – a social enterprise will have more in common with other volunteer involving agencies and you are certainly eligible to join the Association of Volunteer Managers (see volunteermanagers.org.uk) and use and contribute to the good practice Wiki as well as looking at other volunteer manager sources and adopt their good practice measures

Echoing several points made already, social enterprises using their profits for charitable purposes are doing so as a fundraising activity, so the volunteers need to be engaged on that basis – they need to buy into the aims of the charity, so they are keen to raise funds for its activities.

They are fundraising volunteers. Good practice is good practice (as Debbie said) and enthusing those volunteers to raise funds is the important thing.

Ensuring their voice is heard, they feel part of a good project, the skills/ experience they are looking to gain are included in the design of the project, and that they know the reason why they are raising the funds are all important elements.

The use of or need for CRB disclosures and their costs is a completely different component of involving volunteers in Social Enterprise, and the costs and rules around that components are discussed *ad nausium,* but it shouldn’t be necessary to pay more than 10 for the admin to process one and no volunteer should be asked to pay for it.

Volunteer Now the organisation that I work for is currently developing an information sheet around the role of volunteers within social enterprises. The aim of it is to raise awareness of the contribution of volunteers in this sector but also to highlight volunteer management good practice that leaders of social enterprises could benefit from. Our very rapid review of literature shows a lack of information / literature on volunteering within social enterprises and from speaking to a small number of social enterprises, we are finding that the enterprises that involve volunteers are not seeking support from the volunteering infrastructure, mainly because they are not seeing the link rather than it being an informed choice.