Criterion
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
NEWS  |  Communities, Volunteering

What’s in it for me? Understanding Young Volunteers


Tuesday, 15th November 2011 at 11:50 am
Staff Reporter,
Volunteering in Australia is growing, especially among young people where volunteering rates have doubled over the last 15 years. But if Not for Profit organisations are to engage young volunteers, they must first understand their motivations and expectations.


Tuesday, 15th November 2011
at 11:50 am
Staff Reporter,


3 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
What’s in it for me? Understanding Young Volunteers
Tuesday, 15th November 2011 at 11:50 am
Above: Habitat for Hummanity's 'community of volunteers'.  Flickr image NoncommercialNo Derivative Works Some rights reserved by Habitat for Humanity Great Britain 

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of the United Nations International Year of the Volunteer, and a decade on volunteering in Australia is going from strength to strength.

Last year 6.4 million Australians (or 38% of the population) undertook some kind of voluntary work. This is a huge increase in voluntary work since 1995, when the first ABS Voluntary Work Survey revealed a volunteering rate of 24%.

Despite the 35-44 age group having the highest rate of volunteering (44% in 2006), and lots of discussion about the potential volunteering goldmine offered by retiring baby boomers, it is the 18-24 age group where the growth has occurred.

The number of young Australians (aged 18 to 24) engaged in volunteering doubled between 1995 and 2006, from 16% to 32%, with no indicators this trend is slowing down. 

Research into volunteering by young people by the Youth Affairs Council of Victoria (YACVic) – the peak body representing the youth sector in the state – found that young people’s volunteering was shaped by a number of factors, including their age and stage, gender, whether they had a disability, where they live and their cultural background. 

The report “Volunteering is Catching: A study into young people's volunteering in Victoria 2011” by YACVic researcher Clare Wynne, found that young people want to volunteer in ‘youth specific’ areas alongside peers, identifying volunteering areas that overlap with the activities of youth participation. For these young people, a ‘community of volunteering’, where they volunteer with their peers and meet up to talk volunteering, is important.

The report says that young people are unlikely to be exposed to volunteering in their school community (language schools, secondary schools or tertiary institutions), and there is a lack of youth friendly information informing young people about volunteering, particularly for young people who were not part of a community of volunteering.

The report also reveals that an important factor in motivating young people to volunteering is increasing their future employment opportunities.

Founder of social trends research organisation the Korn Group, Neer Korn, recently wrote about young people and volunteering in the article ‘The Art of Selfish Giving’.

Korn said young people view society as extremely competitive and are more ruthless than previous generations. “They expect something back, even when giving”, Korn said.

Korn said young people expect volunteering to build their CVs. “They seek experiences which offer adventures and personal growth opportunities thereby enhancing their life skills, or ones that directly contribute to improving their CVs thereby making them more appealing to employers.”

The YACVic report made a number of key recommendations to ‘support the continued development of young people’s volunteering’. While these recommendations are aimed at governments, they can assist NFPs wanting to engage with young volunteers. The recommendations include:

  • Developing resources (both print and online) that inform young people about volunteering
  • Capacity building of NFPs to be better able to create and identify meaningful volunteering opportunities for diverse groups of young people
  • Meaningful volunteering opportunities for diverse groups of young people
  • Strengthening of volunteering awareness programs and volunteering opportunities in educational institutions
  • Developing the capacity to use online media and social networks to engage with and support youth volunteering
  • The development and support of a community of young volunteers
     

Want to get more young people involved in your organisation?

Download 'Young People and Volunteering – Guide for organisations, managers, trainers and researchers' [PDF] 



FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is a highly specialised provider of recruitm...

NGO Recruitment

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

Helping the helpers fund their mission…...

FrontStream Pty Ltd (FrontStream AsiaPacific)

Leading recruitment specialists in Sydney for 10 years for t...

BRC Recruitment

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

ACNC Redesigns 2017 Annual Information Statement

Lina Caneva

Monday, 24th July 2017 at 4:33 pm

NFP Calls for Register of Trusts and Foundation Ownership

Lina Caneva

Friday, 21st July 2017 at 3:06 pm

Sisters Around the World

Wendy Williams

Friday, 21st July 2017 at 1:49 pm

Calls for Super ‘Splitting’ for WA De Facto Couples

Lina Caneva

Thursday, 20th July 2017 at 9:14 am

POPULAR

NDIS Cost ‘Blowout’ is a Misconception

Rachel McFadden

Monday, 10th July 2017 at 2:09 pm

Volunteering ‘Victory’ as Government Backtracks on Funding Redesign

Rachel McFadden

Friday, 14th July 2017 at 5:12 pm

NDIA Gets New CEO as Construction Begins on Head Office

Wendy Williams

Wednesday, 19th July 2017 at 5:24 pm

DGR Reform Lacks Clarity of Purpose

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 11th July 2017 at 4:03 pm

3 Comments

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Criterion
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

Pro Bono News

Get the best content from the not-for-profit and social sector straight to your inbox. 

Over 49,000 not-for-profit professionals from charities like Variety Australia, Guide Dogs, Mission Australia, RSPCA and Cancer Council get our emails.

You have Successfully Subscribed!