It’s no secret that volunteering is a beneficial act of kindness.
Many non-profit organizations achieve their missions with the help of dedicated volunteers, and the recipients of their services often leave with a new personal connection, a newly learned skill, or more confidence from a positive interaction – just a few of the countless possible outcomes. For years, the act of volunteering has been known to offer intangible benefits to those who give their time to others, such as pride, satisfaction, and a sense of accomplishment – the road to being a do-gooder. But what about the other benefits – the ones we can actually see and measure?
As the United States economy evolves, for-profit companies have recognized the growing importance of employee volunteer programs. The newest hires – Millennial college graduates – are a generation of young people who value the opportunity to make a positive impact on the world more highly than other benefits offered by corporate careers. Employees are happier and more likely to stay at companies that align with their personal values, ultimately influencing employee retention rates: 75% of employees say that their jobs are more fulfilling when their companies offer opportunities to make a difference.
When workers spend time volunteering with skills-based organizations, such as Junior Achievement, they improve the lives of other people while developing leadership skills and strengthening technical skills that make them even more successful in their own professional environment. A 2016 Impact Survey conducted by Deloitte shows that any type of volunteering that helps cultivate professional skills results in significantly higher productivity. It’s no wonder that more and more companies each year are incorporating volunteer opportunities into their corporate culture.
When it comes to the personal impact volunteering has, results are harder to quantify. Yet studies show that by volunteering with an organization, people build empathy and strengthen their ability to form social bonds, ultimately making them happier. Plus, a study by the Corporation for National and Community Service proves there is a strong connection with good health; volunteers have “lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression.” In short, volunteering is a great way to improve your physiological health.
Put simply, the act of volunteering is a win for everyone involved: the non-profit organization, the recipient of the service, for-profit companies, and the volunteers themselves. When working with Junior Achievement in particular, volunteers actively improve the future of the global economy by teaching K-12 students how money, careers and business ownership work. Junior Achievement alumni are two and a half times more likely to be involved with starting a business than the general public, thus creating jobs, offering new goods and services to consumers, promoting social mobility, and contributing to the economy as a whole. And this chain reaction begins with one person: a volunteer.
If you are interested in making a difference in the lives of the 85,000 students that Junior Achievement of New York reaches each year in New York City, Long Island, and the Lower Hudson Valley – as well as your own life – click here to get started.