Rewards Beyond Heart
By Megan Stiles, CVA®, AFC®
When you think of volunteering, you might picture an individual or group selflessly working towards the betterment of an idea, belief, service, or product for the greater good. By definition, volunteers do not receive a paycheck, and the popular belief is that service is only altruistically motivated. While selflessness plays into the equation, motivations for volunteering have evolved. Today’s volunteers are more than just heart.
3rd Decade Volunteers are drawn to the organization’s mission of changing financial futures forever in the lives of young adults. Volunteers seize the opportunity to make a difference starting now, but the difference being made isn’t always just for the benefit of 3rd Decade Participants. For the volunteer, service can yield increased physical and mental wellness, a happier outlook at work, and drive a more active social life.
Wellbeing Worth the Time
Study after study continues to exalt the mental and physical benefits of volunteering, from decreased risk of depression, reduced stress levels, to lowering the likelihood of developing high blood pressure, and even possibly a link to living longer. Volunteering exposes you to new information, new experiences, physical activity in some instances, and opportunities to be social. When we gift our time and skills to an organization or cause we value, we might just be gifting ourselves overall wellness.
Explore Your Passion or New Path
Work is where we spend a good portion of our everyday lives. Volunteering can supplement your current career or help you find a new one. Professional volunteers gain the opportunity to exercise their skills in a modified delivery of service. They tap into the passions that drove them to their career choice. Their knowledge and industry are gifted to those who might otherwise not have access to it. This is the case with the majority of 3rd Decade’s volunteers, recruited in partnership with wealth management and investment firms that value supporting the community.
Companies that prioritize giving back with employee-volunteer programs will find their employees are more engaged. This is exemplified by the 71% of employees surveyed who indicated it’s imperative or very important to work where the culture is supportive of giving and volunteering. Others utilize volunteering to explore new career paths or gain new skill sets and valuable professional experience. A re-evaluation of work-life balance may prompt a need to update technology skills or enhance soft skills. Volunteering is associated with 27% higher odds of employment, as 82% of hiring managers prefer applicants with volunteer experience, and 92% say volunteer activities build leadership skills. Regardless of your career path, you will grow with the diverse knowledge and experience gained by volunteering.
Make New Friends, Strengthen the Old
You instantly know you have something in common with fellow volunteers: a passion for the organization’s mission. Volunteering can be a way to connect with your current social circle and expand it. The recent 2021 Industry Insights report revealed that 62% of volunteers ages 25-37 were motivated by the opportunity to “spend quality time with family and friends.” It is echoed in the growing trend amongst youth entering the workforce being motivated by the opportunity to “bond with coworkers/contribution to company philanthropy.” Interestingly, 72% indicated volunteering allowed them to “be social and productive at the same time.” Volunteering gives you the opportunity to engage with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures that may differ from your own.
Warm & Fuzzy
Let’s not forget that making a positive impact in the community continues to be the main (83%) motivator for many volunteers. Partnering with organizations that deliver on your personal values will likely never fall from being a main reason to make a positive impact in the community. Understanding that you can get as much from your volunteer service as you give is the first step to strengthening individuals and building a community.
Are you ready to take the next step? Do you have a deep understanding of personal finance and a moderate understanding of conflict-free, passive investing? If you are passionate about partnering with young adults to change their financial futures forever, visit our Volunteer page now.