Harnessing the power of neuro inclusion to enhance our volunteer programs

In volunteering, inclusivity isn’t a buzzword, it’s the cornerstone on which impactful and sustainable volunteer programs are built.

Inclusivity isn't just a term that's trending, but rather the fundamental pillar that upholds effective and enduring volunteer initiatives. While diversity and representation are rightfully emphasised in volunteer programs, the often neglected realm of neuro-inclusivity plays a crucial role in creating truly welcoming and impactful opportunities.

Neuro-inclusion is the practice of actively including individuals with neurological differences and creating safe spaces for people, regardless of their neuro-diversity.

Breaking barriers to volunteer

With recruitment a key challenge for most volunteering programs, creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for people who are neuro-diverse could really help find more people to support your cause. 

Individuals with Autism, ADHD, dyslexia, and other neurological conditions may find it daunting to step into a social environment and contribute to a cause. Despite their passion for the event or cause, the barrier to volunteering could lie in your program's ability to acknowledge their condition and provide the necessary support.

Understanding Neuro-diversity

We spoke with Georgina Shute, a neuro-inclusivity coach, campaigner and trustee for a charity about what you can do to not only accommodate people with neurological diversity but also benefit from an improved ability to recruit from these people.

An introduction to two terms:

Neuro-diversity - This is an umbrella term that encompasses a range of conditions.

Neuro-inclusion - This is the process of creating environments that celebrate neurodiversity.




The importance of neuro inclusion for Gen-Z volunteers

Above all else Gen-Z values authenticity, inclusivity and social responsibility. By aligning your volunteer program to these values it demonstrates a clear commitment to inclusivity and can significantly boost engagement with Gen-Z volunteers,

5 action strategies to engage Gen-Z through Neuro-inclusivity

  1. Educate and raise awareness
  2. Adapt Communication Strategies -  implement diverse communication set - visual ads, written instructions and flexible interactions
  3. Offer Diverse Roles - create a range of volunteer opportunities that appeal to various strengths and interests
  4. Build a supportive community - Foster a culture of support and acceptance where volunteers feel safe to share challenges and experiences
  5. Feedback and continuous improvement - actively seek feedback from your teams



Provide your general volunteers and volunteer coordinating team with training and resources to increase their understanding of neuro-diversity and best practices for accommodating individuals with diverse neurological profiles.



Foster an environment that embraces flexibility and adapts volunteer activities to neuro-diverse participants. This may include providing sensory-friendly spaces and clear communication.


Diversity of roles

Ensuring you can offer people with neurological differences a range of roles will help attract new volunteers to your program. While it’s not always possible to create a set of volunteer roles for specific neurological needs, consider the roles you do have and whether they are suitable for people with a varied neurological profile.

Build an inclusive community

Lead by example and demonstrate leadership across your program by actively advocating for the participation of people with neurological diversity. By championing diversity and inclusion it will spread across your organisation.



Gather survey data and feedback from your current volunteers. Discover the neurological diversity within your existing program and find out from your volunteers themselves how you could make your program more welcoming and inclusive to people with neurological differences.



In conclusion...

Neuro-inclusion is not just a moral imperative, but could create a strategic advantage for your volunteer program. Maximise the impact of your cause or event by attracting a range of people to support it.

Those volunteers may require certain considerations to be made for them in order for them to feel comfortable, that could include reviewing your communication methods, the range of roles you have to offer and how you market your program to new volunteers.


Similar posts

Join our Newsletter Mailing List

Be the first to know about new Volunteer Management insights, news and feature updates to Rosterfy.