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Volunteering Trend Data

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At nfpSynergy, we've been tracking the proportion of the UK public that volunteer for over ten years. This report gives an overview of volunteering over time from as far back as 2003 up until August 2017.

Here are some of our key findings:

- Overall volunteering levels are fairly stable; however, individual waves show volatility, possibly due to a season increase over the summer.
- The most interesting changes appear to be over age group and gender.
- 16-34 year old men are now one of the most likely groups to volunteer closely followed by women in the same age group.
- Volunteering levels in both 45-54 year olds and 55-64 year olds have declined between 2012 and 2017. These age groups are those for whom no major initiatives exist to encourage volunteering.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Volunteering Trend Data

  1. 1. Volunteering Trend Data September 2017 with data up to August 2017
  2. 2. 2 Chart 1: The highlights of our latest volunteering research • Overall volunteering levels are fairly stable; however, individual waves show volatility, possibly due to a season increase over the summer. • The most interesting changes appear to be over age group and gender. • Chart 3 show that 16-34 year old men are now one of the most likely groups to volunteer (peaking at 39% in 2014) closely followed by women in the same age group. The volatility of these figures means that frequent tracking is needed. • Our most significant finding is in Chart 5. This shows the moving average for 16-24 and 25-35 year olds. While volunteering in 16-24 year old started rising in 2009/10, volunteering in 25-34 year olds started rising 2-3 years later. • While volunteering in 16-24 year olds peaked in 2013/4, the moving average suggests that volunteering in 25-34 year olds is only now peaking. • Is it possible that those who volunteered at school and university in their youth are continuing those habits as they get older? This would be very good news if it’s the case. • The less encouraging data is shown in Chart 13. Volunteering levels in both 45-54 year olds and 55-64 year olds have declined between 2012 and 2017. These age groups are those for whom no major initiatives exist to encourage volunteering.
  3. 3. 3 19% 16% 22% 19% 22% 20% Volunteered (telephone) Volunteered (online) Chart 2: Volunteering over time from 2003 to 2017 Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2004 - 2017, nfpSynergy | Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Telephone and online surveys)
  4. 4. 4 17% 19% 21% 22% 14% 25% 16% 39% 20% 24% 37% 31% 27% Males Females 16-34 Males 16-34 Females Linear (Males) Linear (Females) Chart 3: Volunteering over time – gender balance including young men and women Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2003-2014, nfpSynergy | Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Telephone and online surveys)
  5. 5. 5 Chart 4: Volunteering from 2004 – increase in 16-24 year old volunteering Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2012 - 2017, nfpSynergy | Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes 15% 33% 29% 16-24 year olds Expon. (16-24 year olds)
  6. 6. 6 Chart 5: Volunteering from 2004 showing moving averages from 16-24 and 25-34 year olds 33% 26… Oct 04 July 05 May 06 Jun 07 Jun 08 Jun 09 Jun 10 Sep 11 Sep 12 Sep 13 Jan 15 Oct 15 Mar 17 16-24 year olds 25-34 year olds 10 per. Mov. Avg. (16-24 year olds) 10 per. Mov. Avg. (25-34 year olds) Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2012 - 2017, nfpSynergy | Base: 1,000 adults 16+, Britain “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes
  7. 7. 7 The demographic profile of volunteers over time
  8. 8. 8 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Online surveys) Base: 12,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2014 - 2017, nfpSynergy Chart 6: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (2014 – 2017) 21% 20% 21% 30% 19% 19% 17% 30% 22% 18% 14% 16% 24% Total Male Female AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+
  9. 9. 9 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Telephone and online surveys) Base: 3,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2012, nfpSynergy 21% 19% 22% 27% 21% 17% 18% 24% 19% 16% 20% 22% 24% 25% 10% Total M F AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given Chart 7: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (2012)
  10. 10. 10 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Online surveys) 23% 20% 25% 29% 21% 18% 22% 33% 20% 20% 16% 21% 26% 26% 15% Total Male Female AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given Base: 3,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2013, nfpSynergy Chart 8: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (2013)
  11. 11. 11 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Online surveys) 23% 24% 23% 35% 21% 20% 20% 31% 29% 18% 14% 17% 30% 28% 12% Total M F AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given Base: 3,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2014, nfpSynergy Chart 9: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (2014)
  12. 12. 12 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Online surveys) 21% 19% 22% 31% 18% 16% 19% 25% 22% 19% 16% 15% 24% 25% 10% Total M F AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given Base: 4,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2015, nfpSynergy Chart 10: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (2015)
  13. 13. 13 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Online surveys) 22% 22% 21% 34% 19% 21% 16% 32% 30% 19% 12% 15% 22% 27% 10% Total M F AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given Base: 4,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2016, nfpSynergy Chart 11: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (2016)
  14. 14. 14 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Online surveys) 20% 20% 20% 29% 18% 19% 15% 30% 20% 17% 14% 15% 23% 25% 9% Total M F AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given Base: 2,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, Jan – Apr 2017 nfpSynergy Chart 12: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months (Jan – Aug 2017)
  15. 15. 15 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation, or in your local community?” Yes (Telephone and online surveys) Base: 5,000 adults 16+, Britain | Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2012 & 2017, nfpSynergy 21% 19% 22% 27% 21% 17% 18% 24% 19% 16% 20% 22% 24% 25% 10% 20% 20% 20% 29% 18% 19% 15% 30% 20% 17% 14% 15% 23% 25% 9% Total M F AB C1 C2 DE 16-24 25-34 35-44 45-54 55-64 65+ Given last 3 mths Not given 2012 2017 Chart 13: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months - 2012 vs 2017 By age, gender, social class and donation habits
  16. 16. 16 “Have you given time as a volunteer in the last three months, to a charity or other organisation,or in your local community?” Yes (Telephone and online surveys) Source: Charity Awareness Monitor, 2012 & 2017, nfpSynergy | Base: 2,000 adults 16+, Britain 21% 20% 22% 23% 20% 25% 23% 23% 21% 21% 24% 19% 20% 28% 24% 23% 27% 29% 40% 19%19% 19% 17% 23% 16% 25% 16% 21% 17% 18% 21% 20% 26% 38% 24% 27% 31% 30% 37% 15% Total NW NE/ York & Humb Mids East Lond SE SW/ Wales Scot Mrrd/ Civil/ Living… Sngl/ Wid/ Div/… Tab Daily Mid Mrkt Daily Broad- sheet Daily Local/ Free Mid Mrkt Daily… Broad- sheet Daily… Local/ Free Online Reg Wrsp Not Reg Wrsp 2012 2017 Chart 14: Proportion who have given time as a volunteer in the last three months – 2012 vs 2017 By region, marriage status, newspaper reader and worshipper
  17. 17. 17 2-6 Tenter Ground Spitalfields London E1 7NH www.nfpsynergy.net +44 (0)20 7426 8888 insight@nfpsynergy.net nfpsynergy nfpsynergy nfpsynergy Registered office: 2-6 Tenter Ground Spitalfields London E1 7NH. Registered in England No. 04387900. VAT Registration 839 8186 72 Any questions? Please contact Joe Saxton on joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net or call 07976 329212

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