Hours volunteered have increased, dollars donated have declined
1. The National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) has released the latest 2006 Individual Giving Survey Results, a biennial survey that measures individual giving in terms of volunteerism and philanthropy.
2. The 2006 survey results indicated that the incidence of volunteering held
steady at an estimated 15.5% compared to 15.2% in 2004. An estimated 49 million
hours were contributed by current volunteers in the 2006 survey compared to an
estimated 35 million hours in the 2004 survey. In other words, while the incidence of volunteers remained steady, the number of hours served increased by 40%.
3. A higher percentage of younger and older individuals were volunteering.
Among those aged 15-24 years, the volunteer participation rate was 28% in the 2006 survey, compared to 25% in 2004. Among those aged 65 years and above, the
volunteer participation rate was 11% in 2006 compared to 4% in 2004.
4. The total donation figure was an estimated S$341 million in the 2006 survey,
lower than the S$438 million in the 2004 survey. The donor incidence rate also fell. The 2006 survey showed that donor incidence was lower at 89 per cent, compared to 97 per cent in the 2004 survey. Donors found lack of clarity on how their donations were used most dissatisfying about being a donor (31% in 2006).
5. However, a higher percentage of donors (21% in 2006, compared to 9% in
2004) planned in advance which organisations to donate to, rather than deciding only when asked to donate. Besides being more proactive, a higher percentage of donors, significantly, sought information on the management of the organisations (22% in 2006 compared to 9% in 2004).
6. Commenting on the latest survey results, Chief Executive Officer of NVPC, Ms
Tan Chee Koon, said: “While the incidence of volunteering has not grown significantly and the dollars donated has fallen, what is good is that the number of hours volunteered has increased by 40% and the extent of planned giving, rather than giving only when asked to donate, has more than doubled. The other significant feature is that of a more enquiring public. These developments, if sustained, augur well for the future of giving in Singapore.
7. “I encourage the 66.7% that are non-volunteers especially to consider how they
can discover the joy and thrill of volunteering, especially as ad hoc volunteering looks set to stay as a significant feature of the volunteerism scene here in Singapore.”
8. She added: “Volunteers are a human resource. Just like organisations have
human resource management systems, non-profit organisations need proper
volunteer – as well as donor – management systems, including policies and good
people to administer these policies. Someone has to pay for such ’infrastructure’
costs, and an increasingly discerning public will hopefully be more receptive to funding such expenses as well”.
9. The 2006 survey conducted by Market Probe-Precision Research Pte Ltd
covered individuals, aged 15 years and above, who were Singapore citizens,
Permanent Residents (PR) and foreigners (or non residents) but excluded tourists,
domestic maids and construction workers. A total of 1,803 interviews were completed. Respondents were interviewed face to face. Statistical weighting was applied to the sample data to arrive at national estimates.
10. In the survey, volunteering was defined to exclude compulsory community work such as the Community Involvement Programme in schools (except where it
exceeded the compulsory hours).
About the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC)
NVPC is the national body that promotes volunteerism and philanthropy, functioning as a first-stop centre, catalyst and networking agency to foster the Giving spirit in Singapore, whether of time, money, services or in kind.
We work with non-profit organisations, companies and public sector bodies to facilitate and strengthen Community Giving efforts through our promotional and networking platforms, public education programmes, training in volunteer (including employee volunteering) and donor management, as well as research and publications.