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7.15 VOLUNTEERS, Age by Sex
FIELDS OF VOLUNTARY WORK
Volunteers give their time to organisations and groups involved in a diverse range of activities. Sport, recreation and hobby organisations, and welfare and community organisations attracted the highest levels of volunteering. As table 7.16 shows, the volunteer rate was also high for education, training and youth development groups (25%) and religious groups (18%). The rate of involvement was much lower for all other types of organisations.
Men were most likely to be involved in the fields of sport, recreation and hobbies, with 42% of volunteers assisting these organisations. Welfare and community groups and education/training and youth development organisations attracted the most women, with 32% of volunteers giving time to each of these organisational groups.
7.16 VOLUNTEERS, Field of Voluntary Work
voluntary work will not add to the total.
Source: Survey of Voluntary Work 1995.
HOW MUCH TIME?
Volunteers worked an estimated 433.9 million hours in the 12 months to June 1995. People's time commitment to volunteering over the 12 month period varied from less than 20 hours to more than 300 hours. As table 7.17 shows, just over 18% of volunteers gave less than 20 hours and another 18% gave between 40 and 79 hours. About 14% gave more than 300 hours.
The types of activities that volunteers undertake are many and varied. Fundraising (47% of all volunteers) and management and committee work (41%) were the main activities. Nearly half the female volunteers spent time in fundraising and 40% were involved in preparing and serving food. Men were more likely to be involved in management and committee work (46%) and fundraising (42%).
HOW AND WHY DO PEOPLE BECOME INVOLVED IN VOLUNTEERING?
Volunteering brings benefits to volunteers as well as to the organisations they volunteer for. While the reasons people initially become volunteers are diverse, 42% said that they had wanted to help others and the community. One-third of volunteers attributed their reasons to personal or family involvement and just over one-quarter cited personal satisfaction.
The major personal benefits that people gained through volunteering were personal satisfaction for 59% of volunteers and social contact for 38%.
People who were part of a family were slightly more likely to attribute their initial involvement to the fact that they were asked by someone (31%), than that they or their family were involved with the organisation (30%). However, people who were not part of a family were most likely to have been initially involved because they knew someone else who was involved.
Source: Year Book Australia 1997
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