Giving Compass’ Take:
• Moshe Hech at eJewish Philanthropy cites numerous research studies that reveal the connection between volunteering and happiness.
• What are the reasons that you volunteer your time? What do you think about the relationship between volunteering and connectedness?
• Read about the benefits and motivations of volunteers.
A post on Harvard Medical School’s blog reveals that volunteering makes people feel more “socially connected,” whether it be with the people you’re volunteering with or for. This feeling of enhanced interconnectivity and belonging gives people who volunteer regularly the ability to better “ward off loneliness and depression.” As a special bonus, volunteering is also linked to significantly lower blood pressure. Lower blood pressure! Just writing this makes me want to go out and volunteer ASAP.
Haven’t had your fill of data yet? Are you more of a Yale kind of person, or you just need more numbers? Well, it’s your lucky day – I’ve got a “Family Size” pack of facts with your name on it. You’re welcome.
A study by the Germany-based Institute for the Study of Labor was actually able to quantify how much happier volunteers were than non-volunteers. Over a period of four years and 22,000 separate interviews, researchers were able to definitively link volunteering to an increase in overall life satisfaction. Volunteering alone allowed individuals – on a scale from 1-10 – to, on average, jump up from a 6 to a 7. This boost was also noticeable in people who volunteered just one time a month, proving that helping others just a few hours a month truly pays dividends.
Read the full article about the science of volunteering by Moshe Hech at eJewish Philanthropy.
Volunteering is a complex topic, and others found these selections from the Impact Giving archive from Giving Compass to be good resources.
Are you ready to give?
If you are ready to take action and invest in causes for Volunteering, check out these Giving Funds, Charitable Organizations and Projects related to Volunteering.