A new study released by State Farm® reveals key insights into what motivates people to volunteer. While the survey included all generations, the most surprising results came from Millennials (ages 18-34).
A deep dive into this generation finds two distinct groups: those who are starting out (younger Millennials) and those who are married, have kids, or own a home (older Millennials). According to the study, only 23 percent of younger Millennials currently volunteer, compared to 46 percent of older Millennials.
These findings are noteworthy when considering national trends. Millennials now surpass Baby Boomers as the largest generation in the United States.* As a result, they have the biggest potential to influence volunteerism.
Here’s what motivates Millennials to volunteer:
- Get social: According to the study, digital communication is key. Fifty-eight percent of Millennials surveyed visited a website to learn about volunteering, (a rate that declined significantly with each preceding generation).
- Opportunities nearby: Forty-four percent of older Millennials and 34% of younger Millennials agree, they’re more likely to get involved if the organization or non-profit is close to their home or job.
- Show the impact: People want to know their work was worth it. Forty-three percent of older Millennials and 34% of younger Millennials say seeing the impact of their time and talent reaffirms their commitment to give back.
- Career development: Forty percent of older Millennials and 35% of younger Millennials said offering opportunities to help their career or job search would boost their willingness to volunteer.
- Knowledge is power: The prospect of gaining expertise in a certain area or learning a new skill inspires more people to get involved. Forty percent of older Millennials and 31% of younger Millennials say this opportunity would make them more likely to volunteer.
- The more the merrier: Both groups agree, being able to participate with friends (44% older Millennials, 35% younger Millennials) or meet new people (28% older Millennials, 22% younger Millennials) plays a large role in their decision to volunteer. In fact, one in five Millennials reported finding a significant other through volunteering!
About the Survey
In November of 2017, State Farm conducted a study on volunteerism to identify those most likely to volunteer as well as the conditions or situations where volunteerism rates are highest. State Farm surveyed approximately 3,100 U.S. adults aged 18 and older and weighted the data to match proportions in the U.S. by generation: Millennials (18-34), Generation X (35-50), Baby Boomers (51-70) and the Mature Generations (71+). This study follows a survey conducted the previous year that provided insights on how to inspire and cultivate volunteerism.
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