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Teenage Boys Increase Their Volunteering And Other Giving

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

A heartening sign for volunteering in New Zealand as it celebrates International Volunteer Day (5 December) was a marked increased in the numbers of teenage boys volunteering between 2007 and 2008 said Tim Burns, Executive Director of Volunteering New Zealand.

The recently released report "How do New Zealanders Give? 2008 Update" showed that volunteering by males aged 10 to 19 increased as a percentage of their total population group from 14% in 2007 to 22% in 2008. This also put them on a par with girls in the same age group. The report also showed a similar lift in their numbers who made financial donations.

The data came from the Nielsen Media Research Panorama survey which collects information from 12000 people annually. The report is obtained by the Office for the Community and Voluntary Sector and is a major information resource for the Generosity Hub.

"It was also positive to find the overall volunteering rate had remained stable when many claim that volunteer numbers are declining," said Mr Burns.

The report showed that an estimated 1,241,000 people aged 10 and over volunteered in the previous 12 months for 2008 (34% of this population group) compared with 1,217,000 in 2007 (33.8%). While this is a small increase this is not considered a statistically significant change.

At the same time the report shows an increase in volunteering for different community groups across all the different sectors where people can volunteer. This indicates that people volunteered in more organisations on average in 2008 than in 2007.

"There is more than one possible reason for this," said Mr Burns. "One is that people who volunteer are spreading their volunteering to more organisations. A second reason may be that as media coverage of volunteering has increased and people become more conscious of the diversity of volunteering opportunities, they are recognising the diversity of their own volunteering."

The research also measured rates of ad hoc donations and committed donating. Ad hoc donations are typically those given in street appeals and similar forms of fund raising. Committee donations are those given to organisations on a regular basis.

Ad hoc donating increased from 47.4% in 2007 to 49.6% in 2008. Committed donations remained stable - 33.4% in 2008 compared with 33.6% in 2007.

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