Study Underscores Health, Wellness, and Career Benefits of Volunteering (from The pARTnership Movement)
It’s no secret within the nonprofit sector that volunteers are often the difference between “make” and “break,” the special sauce that keeps an organization moving forward, delivering against its mission, serving its constituents. From hands-on volunteers to skills-based volunteers to the volunteer leaders who serve on boards, it’s almost impossible to calculate the value that those who give back add to the sector. So it’s nice to know that those who volunteer benefit from the experience as well.
A national survey of 3,351 adults conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of UnitedHealth Group demonstrates that volunteering is good for your health. Here are some of the takeaways from this research:
- Volunteers say they feel better—physically, mentally and emotionally—than non-volunteers
- Volunteering helps people manage and lower stress levels
- Volunteers feel a deeper connection to communities and others
- Volunteers are more informed healthcare consumers and are more engaged and involved in taking care of their own health
If you work with volunteers—or if you are one yourself—those first three points are probably not very surprising. The fourth is perhaps a bit unexpected, but the report includes some interesting data around this topic, including people who report that volunteering helps them cope with a chronic illness and/or helps them take their minds off their own problems. Survey respondents who volunteer scored better than those that don’t on nine well-established measures of emotional well-being.Read More