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Peter Devereux, Laura Stocker and Kirsten Holmes

This chapter highlights the power of volunteerism as a method for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. It emphasizes the importance of a relational approach in helping to energize and sustain locally appropriate strategies. Using case studies from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, Western Australia and the Philippines, it analyses methods to facilitate voluntary action that makes practical contributions. The case studies demonstrate that the nature and quality of relationships are key to successful voluntary action for sustainability. Volunteerism is shown to have increased the respective community’s capacity to tackle sustainability issues itself strengthening reciprocity, relationships, capacity and ownership. The four methodological principles highlighted for successful voluntary action embed mutual learning and accountability, reciprocal benefit, and foster synergies over trade-offs.

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Karen A. Smith, Leonie Lockstone-Binney and Kirsten Holmes

Summary reviews of the extant literature on event volunteering have been conducted in recent years. These have highlighted volunteer motivations as a key theme to emerge from this growing body of literature, together with the methods-based observations of the dominance of case studies of single sporting events and an overwhelming use of quantitative methods to study event volunteers. These works in appraising progress in the field highlight persistent gaps in knowledge and a raft of potential opportunities for taking the field forward. This chapter builds on preceding work specifically to advance a current and prospective research agenda for event volunteering, accounting for the growing diversity of forms that the practice will likely take.