Number of young volunteers has nearly doubled over the last decade

Over a quarter of UK adults say they have volunteered in the last three months

"It’s particularly good that young people are finally becoming more involved in volunteering. Charities have to make sure the idea appeals to a variety of ages and isn’t just stereotyped as elderly people staffing charity shops and tombolas." Joe Saxton, Driver of Ideas at nfpSynergy 

  • 16-25 year olds are now the most likely to volunteer. Around 34% of them have given their time in the last three months (slide 4)
  • This is nearly double the 18% who’d volunteered when we ran this survey in 2003 (slide 4)
  • Ten years on, those young people are now volunteering in similar numbers, with 19% of 25-34 year olds having done so (slide 5)
  • Volunteering is up 5% overall since January with 26% of people having given their time in the last 3 months, the highest for 10 years (slide 2)
  • Every single age group has volunteered more since we last asked this question in January (slide 3)
  • Also encouraging for charities is that despite the increase in volunteers, the frequency has remained stable, with 51% doing so at least once a week, including 63% of young people (slide 7)

 

A third of young people now volunteer for good causes, new research shows. The figure is nearly double that of a decade ago and the young are now the most likely age group to give up their time. The poll, published by research consultancy nfpSynergy, also reveals that volunteering is up 5% since January, meaning 1 in 4 people are now volunteers.

The research, taken from a nationally representative survey of 1000 Britons, shows that 34% of 16-24 year olds volunteer, double the 18% recorded in 2003. They are now the most likely age group to volunteer, consistently polling the highest figures after a dramatic three year rise took them above the over 65s last September.

Overall volunteering has also increased by 5%, with 26% of people having given their time in the last three months. Some age groups showed an increase as high as 9%.

In even more encouraging news for the voluntary sector, the frequency of volunteering has remained stable despite the increase. More than half of those who volunteer do so at least once a week and 4 in 5 do so at least once a month.

nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said:

“As a sceptic that we can really do much to influence volunteering in society, I am delighted that volunteering levels are on the rise. It’s particularly good that young people are finally becoming more involved. Charities have to make sure the idea appeals to a variety of ages and isn’t just stereotyped as elderly people staffing charity shops and tombolas. Whether it’s a post-Olympic boom or that charities are just doing better at involving young people remains to be seen.

What is crucial is that the people who could go on to be their donors, volunteers and staff are getting involved in charities early in their lives. We need to understand much better what is driving these rises in volunteering levels and more importantly how we can sustain them.”

 

Please see the attached slides for more details.

For further comment from nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton, please contact him directly on 07976 329212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net

SOURCE:  ‘nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor, which regularly surveys a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain. Waves used: May 2003, September 2003, January 2004, October 2004, January 2005, April 2005, July 2005, October 2005, January 2006, May 2006, October 2006, February 2007, June 2007, October 2007, February 2008, June 2008, October 2008, February 2009, June 2009, October 2009, February 2010, June 2010, January 2011, May 2011, September 2011, January 2012, May 2012, September 2012, January 2013, May 2013.

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MEDIA COMMENT:

To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him directly on 07976 329212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net. If you cannot contact Joe, please contact Rob White (07739 463786; E: rob.white@nfpsynergy.net) for further assistance.

Note to editors:

nfpSynergy is a research consultancy that aims to provide the ideas, insights and information to help non-profits thrive. We help charities track their profile and engagement levels amongst their key stakeholder groups through regular, syndicated surveys. We also work with charities on bespoke projects, providing a range of quantitative and qualitative research services.

 

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