Volunteerism in Singapore


Volunteering in Singapore has become a hot button issue in the past few years. Up until about ten years ago it was seen as something that little children did as part of a school activity, or something elderly people did as a way to pass the time after retirement. This is changing with the new generation of business leaders taking over. Many employers are now happy to hire someone who shows empathy for others and dedication to a cause. This kind of support has lead to a new generation of people volunteering, although it is not really affecting the older generations. According to the findings of the Individual Giving Survey, people are now finding more non traditional ways to give back to their communities by volunteering in Singapore. These findings, which will will discuss in this article, were expanded upon during the recent study from the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center.


People who are just Starting Work, or About to Retire Think they Need to Stop Volunteering


According to the Individual Giving Survey, only 29 per cent of people between the ages of 25 and 34 are currently volunteering in one way or another. The number rises for people between the ages of 35 and 54 to 45 percent, although it drastically drops for people who are over the age of 55. The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center thinks that these statistics are reflective of the average lifestyles of people who live in Singapore. By the age of 35 most people in Singapore have established careers and incomes, which allow them the freedom to volunteer. People who are younger than that seem to be too busy trying to make a living and establish their career. This is something that some new generations of employers hope to change by offering paid days off for someone who wishes to use that time to volunteer.


People are More Likely To Help Their Family and Friends


The Individual Giving Survey in 2016 showed that helping family and friends, or donating to personal causes (also referred to as informal giving) is something that is becoming more common in Singapore. The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center sees this as a positive thing, as they believe that it can lead to people starting their own volunteer initiatives. The statistics prove that this is correct, because in 2014 only 25 percent of people in Singapore said they had informally given help in some way. When people were asked the same question in 2016, that percentage doubled.


Skill Based Volunteering is Taking Off


Volunteering in past generations was generally thought of as doing the kind of work no one wanted to do. Things like organizing, filling out paperwork or other tasks like that were typical volunteering jobs. According to the National Volunteer and Philanthropy Center there is a new kind of volunteerism that is starting to take off, skill based volunteering. Skill based volunteering allows people to use the skills they have, such as woodworking or writing, to help others in need. This is a win-win for everyone involved because the organisations get to benefit from someone who has experience, and the volunteer gets to continue doing something they enjoy while helping people.

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