Volunteering in NJ
Data from 2007 and 2008 showed that about 26% of the American population volunteered. This, according to the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics means that over 61 million people volunteered between 2007 and 2008. Volunteers were fairly evenly distributed over the age groupings of 35-44 (31%), 45-54 (29.9%) and 55 to 64 represents 28% of the volunteer pool. ¬†A 2009 study by The Hartford, used this data, they state that those 50 and over are more likely to make donations of money rather than time.
In 2008 1.5 million New Jersey residents volunteered, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Of those who volunteered, 21.5% were 55-64 and 18.5% were 65-74, while just 17.3% were 75 or over. The largest group of volunteers was 35-44 at almost 26%.
Both studies indicate that volunteer activities vary among age groups as well. Many young adults volunteer to work with children, such as tutoring or mentoring. Coaching sports seems to appeal to¬† middle aged volunteers, while managerial or professional tasks are common for young retirees. Those retirees are also more likely to continue volunteering if the tasks are managerial versus labor or transportation. Older adults often state that they are more likely to volunteer without a set schedule.
Some barriers for older adults when it comes to volunteering are:
Unaware of volunteer opportunities- they just don‚Äôt know where or how to volunteer
Economic barriers- either having to choose a paid position over a volunteer one, or not being able to afford the costs associated with volunteering.
Lack of transportation- unable to get to places to volunteer.
Fears and worries- for physical safety or personal injury.
We‚Äôd love to hear from you! Do you volunteer? If so, in what way and why do you still do it? If not, why? What do¬† you see as¬† barriers to volunteering?