Why do people volunteer? ELREC as a case study
The charity sector strongly relies upon the good will and hard work of volunteers. According to the NCVO’s Institute for Volunteering Research, it is estimated that almost 14 million people volunteer regularly in the UK. Why do so many people engage with voluntary activities? What motivates them? In particular, what motivates people to volunteer in a country different from the one they originally come from? Danny Tai, a student of the University of Edinburgh, conducted a case study research to answer these questions. To do so, he interviewed fifteen volunteers and staff members of the Edinburgh and Lothians Regional Equality Council (ELREC).
The results of this research show that volunteers are mostly driven by strong altruistic motives. They want to contribute to the cause of promoting equality and social justice because of a selfless concern about disadvantaged people and their welfare. On the other hand, they volunteer with pleasure, as they find it very rewarding.
The advantages of volunteering
For instance, the interviewees find it beneficial for their employability. The opportunity to attend training, to gain some experience and to improve their skills and knowledge is seen as a potential CV-boost and as an advantage for their future career. One more benefit of volunteering is the opportunity to get to know different cultures and to gain an international perspective. At the same time they have the chance to improve their English and make connections in the local community. Last but not least, the interviewees appreciate the fact that the environment that surrounds them during their voluntary activities fosters networking with like-minded people and social interactions.
So what are you waiting for? Volunteer and do good… for the community and for yourself!