Ever heard the axiom “if you want something done, ask a busy person”?
My experience says it’s true. Busy people know how to manage their time and, when asked, can often squeeze one more thing into an already busy schedule.
I have discovered something similar in my coaching work that is often equally true.
People who know the pain of setbacks and failures are often the ones who step up fastest up to help those less fortunate.
Why that is, I do not know.
But I can tell you from my own life, at my darkest times, the only thing that brought relief from my pain was serving hot meals at a soup kitchen, packing lunches for at-risk elementary school kids, and being a voice on the phone on a 24-hour domestic violence hotline.
When I felt I had nothing left, I understood how fortunate I was. I could still offer a hand-up to another human.
And the flex I discovered was like a drug. When I gave, I gained.
I did not gain money in my bank account. I did not receive forgiveness for my mistakes, nor was I welcomed into a relationship with those who earlier had walked away.
I gained back a small slice of my humanity, a dose of self-worth. And I wanted more. I needed more, and more was offered.
My life today is far from perfect but, viewed through the lens of hindsight, my blessings are rich, plentiful, and more than what I need.
And yes, I still give my time to local organizations dedicated to making people’s lives in my community better. I would not trade my time with these organizations for anything, especially at this time of year.
Digging into the “why” behind the good feelings I associate with my volunteering, I discovered the health (physical, mental, and spiritual) benefits related to volunteering (see the forty benefits noted below).
My coaching clients discover what I learned through trial and error; when we give, we gain.
How does your giving game look as 2021 moves to a close?
Check out these volunteer statistics
- Only 55% of nonprofits assess volunteer impact. (All nonprofits should be!)
- One out of four American’s volunteer, two out of three Americans help their neighbor according to a study performed by The Corporation for National & Community Service.
- Individuals between the ages of 35 and 54 are the most likely to volunteer their time according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Volunteers are worth on average $28.54 an hour according to an Independent Sector Study.
- Volunteers are almost twice as likely to donate to a charity than those that don’t volunteer according to The Corporation for National & Community Service.
- San Jose, CA is ranked #1 for recruiting volunteers who are millennials.
- Volunteerism has a value of over $184 billion dollars
- Volunteerism improves health by strengthening the body, improving mood, and lessening stress in participants.
- Those who volunteer regularly have a 27% better chance of gaining employment.
- 60% of hiring managers see the act of volunteerism as a valuable asset when making recruitment decisions according to a study performed by Career Builder.
- According to a report from Blackbaud #GivingTuesday, 2017 processed more than $60.9 million from over 7,200 organizations (not bad for a single day).
- Volunteers under the age of 24 accounts for 22.6% of all volunteers.
- Benjamin Franklin started The Union Fire Company, in 1736, the first volunteer-run firehouse worldwide.
- Aristotle (born: 384 BC) once said: “the essence of life is to serve others and do good.”
- 4% of college graduates, 25 years or older, volunteer each year.
- Volunteers, on average, spend 50 hours per year donating their time to the greater good.
- Over 71% of volunteers work with only one organization each year.
- 67% of people found volunteer opportunities online in 2014 vs 34% in 2006.
- A study by Deloitte found that 61% of millennials who rarely or never volunteer still consider a company’s commitment to the community when making a decision on a potential job.
- 92% of human resource executives agree that contributing to a nonprofit can improve an employees leadership skills.
- In 2014, 39% of 12th-grade students reported that they volunteered at least once per month according to findings from Child Trends.
- There are more than 1.8 million active nonprofits in the United States alone.
- Women currently volunteer more than men (by about 6% more) according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- Volunteers are 66% more likely to donate financially to the organization they support than those who do not volunteer their time.
- Food preparation and distribution was the most reported volunteer activity representing 11.3% in 2015.
- 77% of nonprofits believe that skilled volunteers could improve their organizations business practices (Deloitte Impact Survey)
- 35% of volunteers do so to socialize with others in the community. (Sterling Volunteers)
- 66% of volunteers give their time to improve their community, and 83% do so to contribute to a cause they care about. (Sterling Volunteers)
- According to an AmeriCorps report, people who volunteer over 100 hours a year are some of the healthiest people in the U.S.
- 28.2% of Millennials volunteer each year.
- 30.7% of Baby Boomers volunteer each year.
- 24.8% of Silent Generation Americans volunteer each year.
- 39.9% of parents volunteer each year.
- Utah has the highest rate of volunteers in America (51%)
- 7% of nonprofits will close their doors forever due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
- According to LinkedIn, response to the COVID-19 pandemic added more that 110,000 volunteer activities per month, double the rate of 2017.
- Volunteering decreases the likelihood of high blood pressure development by 40%.
- Fundraising for an event is the most common type of volunteer role in the United States.
- 70% of corporate volunteers believe volunteerism boosts morale more that company mixers.
- 96% of volunteers reported the action enriched their sense of purpose in life.
7% of nonprofits will close their doors forever due to the economic impacts of COVID-19.
According to LinkedIn, response to the COVID-19 pandemic added more that 110,000 volunteer activities per month, double the rate of 2017.
Volunteering decreases the likelihood of high blood pressure development by 40%.
Fundraising for an event is the most common type of volunteer role in the United States.
70% of corporate volunteers believe volunteerism boosts morale more that company mixers.
96% of volunteers reported the action enriched their sense of purpose in life.
So again I ask; how is your giving game?
If you would like to explore how an increase in giving can improve your life, click this link and let’s begin a conversation.