As if contributing to a cause that’s bigger than yourself wasn’t reason enough to give your time, volunteering your time to a charitable cause has some hidden benefits, too. If it is so intuitively obvious that volunteering is beneficial to someone, why is volunteering at a 10 year low? And with 85 percent of nonprofit organizations relying heavily on the contributions made by volunteers, the problem is coming to a head.
With those staggering, and frankly disheartening, statistics in mind, it’s clear nonprofits need to put a greater emphasis on retaining the volunteers they already have.
Here’s a list of the top reasons volunteers keep coming back, according to volunteer consultancy company, Software Advice:
- 27% convenient scheduling
- 24% Proof of work’s impact
- 23% Professional development
- 15% Social / Networking events
- 12% Discounts to local businesses
Keeping volunteers coming back is important, as we detailed in a blog post from last week, but sometimes, it’s the intangibles that get people interested in volunteering in the first place.
Here are 6 hidden benefits of volunteering you might not have have initially thought of:
- Volunteers are 27% more likely to find a job after being out of work when compared to non-volunteers.(Source)
- Volunteers without a high school diploma are 51% more likely to find employment when compared to those who do not volunteer.(Source)
- Volunteers who live in rural areas, where there tends to be fewer jobs available, are 55% more likely to to find a job when compared to those who do not volunteer.(Source)
- Volunteering helps to combat depression. A major contributing factor to depression is isolation and volunteering encourages consistent interactions with others.
- Volunteering can help to increase someone’s self confidence and self-esteem. By volunteering, you’re being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself, and actively making the lives of others easier. If that does not make someone feel good, what will?
- According to recent research conducted by the CDC, volunteering, especially among older people, can help to reduce mortality rates and help people live more fulfilling, longer lives. Volunteering has also been shown to combat the symptoms of chronic pain, and even heart disease.
Want to start volunteering? We
could use your help at ITWorks!