Volunteering at Christmas has real potential for growth, new research suggests

Volunteering at Christmas has real potential for growth, new research suggests

Volunteering at Christmas has real potential for growth, new research suggests

  • More than a quarter of people (28%) plan to volunteer over the Christmas period this year (slide 2)
  • Charities are set to be the biggest recipients of Christmas volunteering time (12%), ahead of Churches and community organisations (both 9%) (slide 2)
  • The most popular reason for volunteering is existing volunteers carrying on over Christmas, but only a third of people said this (36%) (slide 3)
  • Other major motivations included a third of people (32%) who feel Christmas is a time of giving and ‘want to get into the festive spirit’ (slide 3)  
  • A quarter of Christmas volunteers say that the holidays give them more time to volunteer (slide 3)
  • A quarter of those intending to volunteer are young people aged 16-24, slightly higher than the 22% who are over 65. The group most likely to volunteer were 25-34 year olds at 29%

Charities could be missing out on potential volunteers over Christmas, new research suggests. Over a quarter of people saying they are planning some Yuletide volunteering this year, with many motivated by the festive spirit and ‘extra time provided by the holidays’.

The survey of 1000 adults, carried out by research consultancy nfpSynergy, shows that 28% of British people intend to volunteer over the Christmas period. Charities look likely to be the biggest recipients of Christmas volunteers, with 12% of them saying that’s where they will be donating time. This is 3% higher than those who say they will volunteer for Churches or community-based organisations.

The nationally representative poll also reveals that a third of people who want to volunteer at Christmas time do so because they see it as ‘a time of a giving and want to get into the festive spirit.’  The extra time people have over the holidays is another big factor, with a quarter of volunteers giving this as one of their reasons.

The young feature prominently among those intending to give their time, with 25% aged between 16 and 24. The most likely group to volunteer are 25-34 year olds (29%), beating those traditionally most likely, the over 65 year olds (21%).

nfpSynergy’s Driver of Ideas, Joe Saxton, said:

‘Many charities already exploit the festive season’s potential as a time to give money. We think this research suggests that there is plenty of opportunity for charities to make Christmas a time to volunteer as well.

People having more time for volunteering over the Christmas holidays makes a lot of intuitive sense. It’s disappointing perhaps that up until now charities haven’t been doing more to capitalise on people being more available over the holidays.

Please see the attached slides for more details.

For further comment from nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton, please contact him directly on 07976 329 212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net

SOURCE: nfpSynergy’s Charity Awareness Monitor, which regularly surveys a representative sample of 1000 16+ year olds throughout mainland Britain, November 2013 wave.

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To interview nfpSynergy’s Joe Saxton about these findings, please contact him directly on 07976 329212 or joe.saxton@nfpsynergy.net. If you cannot contact Joe, please contact Rob White (07739 463786; E: rob.white@nfpsynergy.net) for further assistance.

Note to editors:

nfpSynergy is a research consultancy that aims to provide the ideas, the insights and the information to help non-profits thrive.

We have over a decade of experience working exclusively with charities, helping them develop evidence-based strategies and get the best for their beneficiaries. The organisations we work with represent all sizes and areas of work and include one in three of the top 100 fundraising charities in the UK.

We run cost effective, syndicated tracking surveys of stakeholder attitudes towards charities and non-profit organisations. The audiences we reach include the general public, young people, journalists, politicians and health professionals. We also work with charities on bespoke projects, providing quantitative, qualitative and desk research services.

In addition, we work to benefit the wider sector by creating and distributing regular free reports, presentations and research on the issues that charities face.