b'COMMUNITY| LEGAL SECTOR| 2020SUSTAINABILITY INSIGHTNON LEGAL VOLUNTEERING According to the most recent State of Volunteering in Australia report, volunteers comprised an average of fifty-seven percent of total staff in volunteer based organisations and contribute an estimated 743 million hours to the Australian community. Volunteers work increases the amount of social services provided while bringing new insights and skills that increase the effectiveness and efficiency of their delivery. The most recent Giving Australia Report also found that business volunteering in the workplace was increasing, with almost three-quarters of large businesses allocating paid time for volunteering (ninety percent of these increasing resources to volunteering over the last ten years). The average participation rate by staff was twenty-one percent. Half of all corporations managing a formal program sought to integrate workplace volunteering through more in-depth community partnerships.However, this year research from the Australian National University shows COVID-19 has impacted the volunteering sector substantially. Between February and April 2020, two thirds of volunteers are estimated to have been unable to continue to volunteer, given the COVID restrictions. The decline has led to a reduction in volunteering equivalent to 12.2 million hours per week or a projected 630 million hours over 12 months. Female volunteers and volunteers over the age of 65 were most likely to have intentionally stopped or have otherwise been unable to continue volunteering. The report also found a greater decline in life satisfaction and psychological distress from those who were unable to continue volunteering.Skilled non-legal volunteering is a critical input to the not for profit and community sector and is highly valued by recipients. Many of these organisations depend on the experience and knowledge of lawyers, managers and support staff for a broad range of non-legal roles including governance, planning, management and administration functions. In many cases law firms combine these types of non-legal volunteering programs with pro bono legal and financial contributions through structured community partnerships which greatly improves the delivery of targeted impacts, a trend that also increasing in businesses across in Australia. In a similar way to pro bono legal programs, non-legal volunteering programs provide employees with an opportunity to practise different skills, build new teams and bolster the firms reputation within the community. Sharing the positive impacts and stories from non-legal volunteering is generally less constrained than for legal volunteering which provides additional opportunities for a firm to promote these achievements to internal and external stakeholders. The 2016 Giving Australia Report described a series of drivers for supporting volunteering and giving in the workplace:seeking to do good by making a positive contribution to the communitygenerating social impactemployee expectationsa business desire to attract and retain the best people (employee engagement) a strategy for the community to allow the business to operate and implement its plans.2020 AusLSA Member PerformanceEighty-seven percent of AusLSA member firms have programs in place or in development that coordinate skilled and non-skilled non-legal volunteering programs for staff. Fifty percent of these firms allocated paid staff time to participate in volunteering. Eighty-eight percent actively supported their employees and partners participation on boards and administrative positions in not-for-profit community organisations. The most popular types of volunteering activities undertaken in 2020 include sixty-nine percent of firms who participate in various charity events and appeals, fifty-three percent who provided student tutoring and mentoring, forty-four percent who arranged blood donations, twenty-five percent who participated in secondment of staff to NGOs and sixteen percent that hosted or led external charity events. VOLUNTEERING COORDINATION INITIATIVESBoardsCharity events and appealsPaid volunteer time foremployeesBlood donationsStudent tutoring and mentoringHost or lead external sportingdays or eventsSecondments to NGOsSkilled volunteeringGeneral community volunteering0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100%Perecentage of firmsYes 78% No 9% Not Reported 9% Average number of initiatives per firm: 4Currently in Development 3%42'