In 1995, the Wandsworth Volunteer Bureau in South London was concerned that they had no way of knowing whether the volunteers they referred to other organisations received a good standard of management and care. With quality standards becoming commonplace it felt appropriate to develop a standard, Investing in Volunteers, which would relate specifically to the management of volunteers.
To take the idea forward, the three neighbouring London boroughs of Croydon, Sutton and Merton joined with Wandsworth to form the Wandle Valley Partnership, and by 1998 funding was raised to run a three-year pilot to develop the standard.
The standard was based on the following four areas of volunteer management.
- Planning for volunteer involvement
- Recruiting volunteers
- Selecting and matching volunteers
- Supporting and retaining volunteers
The pilot was a success with 60 organisations being awarded the Standard and an independent report recommending that the Standard be rolled out across the UK.
In 2003, guardianship of the Investing in Volunteers standard passed to the UK Volunteering Forum, and funding was raised from GUS Charitable Trust, the Home Office and the Department of Health to launch the Standard throughout the UK.
The four organisations managing Investing in Volunteers across the UK are:
- National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
- Volunteer Now (managing Northern Ireland and Rep. of Ireland)
- Volunteer Scotland
- Wales Council for Voluntary Action.
In 2013, Volunteer Ireland entered into a partnership with Volunteer Now to facilitate delivery of IiV in the Republic of Ireland. Volunteer Ireland manages delivery under license from Volunteer Now.