How Do Volunteers Find the Time?
According to Volunteering in America, a comprehensive study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, volunteers find time to participate in service projects by foregoing television. The study shows that adults who have never volunteered spend more time watching television (an average of 436 more hours per year) than adults who volunteer.
Three main findings shed light on myths and realities about volunteering:
- In a typical day, recent volunteers, former volunteers, and non-volunteers spend about the same amount of time on many activities – such as housework, household management, and shopping for goods and services – but the single largest difference is in how much TV they watch.
- Recent volunteers spend at least as much time caring for children and working for pay as former volunteers and non-volunteers do. This suggests that they find time to volunteer despite facing at least as many demands on their time as others.
- Volunteers are more socially connected than non-volunteers and former volunteers. Those who drop out of volunteering also tend to spend less time on civic and community activities across the board.
Read a section of the report Volunteering in America (PDF) or learn more on the CNCS's special Volunteering in America website.