SPOTLIGHT ON VOLUNTEERISM

volunnteeris-pie-charts

According to the Sightlines project, on average, only about 26% of Americans volunteer – a percentage similar to that of nearly two decades ago. Interestingly, more women report engaging in volunteering activities than men. More striking, those with a college education were 4x more likely to volunteer than those without.

Volunteerism

Hover over map to enlarge 

VOLUNTEERISM IN THE NEWS

FACULTY SPOTLIGHT

WILLIAM DAMON, PhD
Professor of Education
Director, Stanford Center on Adolescence

william-damonDr. Damon writes on moral development through the lifespan. Recently he has begun a study on the development of purpose during adolescence. In addition, he is conducting research on how young professionals can learn to do work that is at the same time highly masterful and highly moral. Damon has written several books on moral and character development, and he is the editor-in-chief of New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development and The Handbook of Child Psychology.

“Purpose is special in that you are doing something voluntarily. You do it because you really want to do it; because you’re doing something that matters.”

To connect with our faculty affiliates, please contact SCL managing director, Rika Bosmans (rbosmans@stanford.edu)

EXPLORE THE DATA

PERCENTAGE OF AMERICANS WHO HAVE DONE ANY VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES FOR AN ORGANIZATION

DIRECTOR’S POST

THREE REASONS WHY PEOPLE DON’T VOLUNTEER, AND WHAT CAN BE DONE ABOUT IT

Research has shown that while over 90% of us want to volunteer, only 1 out of 4 Americans actually do. Did you know there is a relationship between volunteering and improved physical health and cognitive function? Research also shows that volunteers report elevated mood and less depression, and that volunteers report increased social interactions and social support, better relationship quality, and decreased loneliness. So if most of us want to volunteer, and we believe it is good for us, why aren’t all of us volunteering? Research has found 3 common barriers:Read more

AMY YOTOPOULOSyotopoulos-01-01
DIRECTOR OF THE MIND DIVISION

COMMENTARY

ENGAGING IN VOLUNTEERISM MAY HOLD SIGNIFICANT HEALTH BENEFITS

Engaging in productive activities, such as volunteering, may hold significant health benefits for older adults. Compared to their non-volunteering counterparts, older adults who volunteer have reduced risk of hypertension, lower mortality rates, delayed physical disability, enhanced cognition, lower rates of depression, and report higher levels of life satisfaction, and decreased physical dependency.1-11 Many older adults, however, do not volunteer. Of cited reasons, the most frequent are barriers that include lack of skills, transportation, and awareness of volunteering opportunities1…  Read more

IYA VARGASiya-01
RESEARCH ASSISTANT

people