More Details About Teens and Volunteering

volunteer screeningWhen it comes to volunteering, young people have definite motivations and favorite causes. A recent study by offers some great insight into the way teens and young adults think.

For example, we talked about how having friends who volunteer is a big influence over teen volunteer rates. But they’re self-motivated, as well. For young people, making a difference on an issue they care about is their #1 stated reason for volunteering. For girls, they say that volunteering is its own reward, as well, while boys were more likely to state that getting into college or landing a good job are also important reasons.

The top five issues that young people are most interested in volunteering for are:

  1. Animal welfare
  2. Hunger
  3. Homelessness
  4. The environment
  5. The economy

In reality, young people tend not to volunteer with groups dedicated to animal issues. They are, however involved in fundraising. Nearly 39% of young people who volunteer have fundraised for charity. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, you may not have considered recruiting teens to help with all-important fundraising. Maybe you should!

Guys tend to volunteer in physical ways, such as environmental cleanup or working with kids in sports or recreational programs. Girls tend to do more fundraising and working with marginalized populations. Girls also volunteer more frequently, with 51% volunteering once per month or more, compared to 45% of guys volunteering once per month or more.

Anyone who volunteers know how rewarding it can be. With youth, it’s just as true as with adults. Young people who volunteer score about 24% higher on a life satisfaction. The following activities offer the most satisfaction, according to the survey:

  • Working with young kids in a sports program    71% Happiness Scale
  • Helping at a library or cultural or historical group 69% Happiness Scale
  • Fundraising 68% Happiness Scale
  • Working with sick or old people 63% Happiness Scale
  • Working on a political campaign 60% Happiness Scale
  • Do not volunteer at all 51% Happiness Scale

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