What motivates people to volunteer?

Three quarters of people would be more likely to volunteer if they were given time off work to do so, according to a recent survey by Do-it Trust. Of those respondents currently employed, only a third said their workplace gave them time off to volunteer. When we spoke with Harriett Douglas about her volunteering experiences, she explained how her organisation, In Kind Direct, gave her the opportunity to volunteer more by giving her time to go on two week-long placements, which she really enjoyed.

Lack of time was found to be the biggest barrier to volunteering, as was the case last year.

  • Three quarters of people said they volunteered to give back to their community.
  • 68% said they volunteered because it improves their own well being and makes them happy.
  • Just over half of the 1,400 respondents in the UK said they volunteered because they wanted to meet new people and make friends, and to develop new skills and experiences.
Why people volunteer: Do-it Trust Survey Results 2016

To ‘Give back to their community’ is one of the main reasons people volunteer

Rewarding volunteers

35% of respondents said they would welcome some form of thank you for their time and effort, such as discounts, gift vouchers or free events. Almost a third of these respondents would would like to donate said rewards to a charity of their choice. This figure rises to nearly 70% in the 10-20 age group.

The deserve for tangible rewards is probably not surprising to popular time credit providers like Spice, where if you volunteer for one hour, you get a credit to spend at a venue, such as a theatre, gym, visitor attraction, museum or gallery.

How and where do people volunteer?

68% of people surveyed volunteered at least once a week, with 41% volunteering more than once a week.

Local charities, who often struggle to raise money and awareness, are the ones people want to volunteer for, with over three quarters of people (76%) saying they preferred to volunteer within 5 miles of their homes, and 18% preferring to volunteer in their immediate neighbourhood.

Interested in volunteering?

If you are interested in volunteering but not sure which charity you would like to support, take a look at the do-it.org website to see if there are any positions that take your fancy.

For more findings from the survey please click here.

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About Author

Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.