DoSomething.org Releases Data on Teen Volunteers and How to Better Engage Them
Posted on October 24, 2012 at 10:00 AM EDT
Young People Want to Make a Difference but Care More about Hanging with Friends than Changing the World
NEW YORK, Oct. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- DoSomething.org, the largest U.S. organization for teens and social change, releases "The DoSomething.org Index on Young People & Volunteering 2012: The Year of Friends with Benefits" today.
Ninety three percent of teens say they want to volunteer; but a far smaller percentage of young people actually do volunteer. This Index exposes why some teens and college students volunteer and why some don't, and gives insight into how to close that gap.
The report includes data on 13 – 22 year olds, but it is the first comprehensive national survey of teens and volunteering that incorporates respondents as young as 13 – 15 years old. It is also the first study to reveal the #1 factor driving volunteering for this age group is having friends who volunteer (75.9% of those whose friends volunteer on a regular basis also volunteer).
"The most surprising data we found is the revealed reason why young people volunteer," says Bob Filbin, DoSomething.org data scientist and author of the study. "Having friends who volunteer regularly is the primary factor – and it's nearly twice as important as whether there is a social issue they care about deeply. Peer pressure in its finest form! Organizations will attract more teens by inviting them to have fun with friends while making a difference rather than just pushing the do-gooder aspect alone."
Conducted by two of the three leading international survey research companies, Survey Sampling International (SSI) and Research Now (RN), the survey collected 4,363 valid responses from 13 – 22 year olds in the U.S. to determine trends in volunteering and behavior. Some findings include:
The 34 page report includes charts to help organizations target teen volunteers by activity and group, as well as a checklist on how to better engage young volunteers by making activities social, accessible, familiar, brief, beneficial to volunteers, and more.
"Overall, this data shows volunteering is a microcosm of a teen's social world," says Filbin. "With a major focus on hanging with friends, followed by texting and keeping a flexible schedule, teens' priorities seem to spill over into their volunteer life. The sooner organizations, clubs and teachers start to think this way about planning their volunteer activities, the more successful they'll be in engaging this age group."
The full "The DoSomething.org Index on Young People & Volunteering 2012: The Year of Friends with Benefits" can be downloaded here. DoSomething.org is sharing this report so organizations, schools, companies, and more have the tools to unlock the power of young people.
For more information, visit www.DoSomething.org.
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