Generation Z has made their voice heard loud and clear – they demand a positive change in the world and they demand it now. Raised in the digital age of social media and information sharing, Gen Z has become hyper-aware of current global issues such as climate change, lack of access to healthcare, homelessness, and other humanitarian challenges. Now, Gen Zs are more determined than ever to make a difference in the world. Keen to help is propelling the movement for positive global change forward, enabling seamless volunteer opportunities to build relationships between university students and their local communities.
Generation Z and Volunteerism
Born between 1995 and 2010, Generation Z is characterized by hard-work and entrepreneurial spirit. As social media natives, Gen Zs have experienced the world at their fingertips and are well-aware of its wonders as well as its most pressing challenges. As a result, Gen Z see volunteerism as an opportunity to be a part of something greater than themselves. Driven by positive global change, research shows 77% of Gen Z are extremely interested in volunteering opportunities and careers in nonprofits.
Door of Clubs confirmed the trend of volunteerism among Gen Zs when it conducted its 2017 survey of 5,000 Gen Zers. According to the survey, Gen Zs are driven by specific causes, such as environmental change and equality, to make the world a better place. The volunteering trend is also reflective of the sharing concept of the world Gen Zs grew up in. Sharing volunteer experiences, stories, and skills through social media or in person is all part of the movement to enact positive global change. As Gen Z prepares to enter the workforce, they expect their employers to support and enable their volunteer goals. As a result, employers are embracing volunteer-time-off (VTO), with 24% of companies offering paid VTO as of 2018.
Benefits of Volunteering
Volunteering sparks positive change at the individual, local, and global level. From personal development opportunities to global volunteering campaigns, participating in and scaling the benefits of volunteering is a rewarding process.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits
When people volunteer, they trigger the portion of the brain responsible for feelings of reward. The brain releases feel-good chemicals, spurring sentiments of satisfaction, fulfilment, and motivation. This mental stimulation encourages people to perform more kind acts, also known as ”helper’s high.” In addition to sentiments of motivation and greater self-esteem, volunteering enables a greater sense of purpose and growth mindset. By opening yourself up to vulnerable and challenging volunteer experiences, you feel more empowered and committed to yourself and your community. In this positive state of mind, individuals experience greater personal growth, character development, and new perspectives.
In addition to mental health benefits, volunteering enables a better work-life balance and stress management. People who volunteer regularly experience decreased depression rates, better physical health, and longer life spans.
Volunteering is a social activity, which means that you will have the opportunity to connect with like minded individuals, changemakers, and disruptors. Building authentic relationships with people and organizations while volunteering is advantageous for applying to jobs/scholarships and advancing your future career opportunities.
Whether you choose to volunteer on your own or in a group, you will surely make new friends and develop stronger friendships.
Unlock potential skills & share expertise
Through volunteering, you will have the opportunity to discover and hone your skills. It is also an opportunity to experiment with new projects and skills while refining existing ones. More importantly, you can share your talent with others. Stepping into a leadership role can enable both others and yourself, reinforcing a sense of purpose and positivity in your day-to-day life.
Leveraging Keen to help
Keen to help makes engaging in volunteer opportunities and realizing its benefits easy. Our platform amplifies the network effects associated with volunteering, seamlessly connecting you with nonprofit organizations and Keeners (volunteers) to enable your volunteer experience. Because we know volunteering is just as much an activity for you as it is for your community, we encourage you to connect with fellow Keeners via member search. Using the private or group messaging tool, you can coordinate to volunteer in groups of friends or strangers to meet new people, establish connections, and build lasting relationships.
The build your own profile and hours verification feature on our site enables you to track your hours and get them verified digitally by volunteer coordinators without the hassle. Record your skills, areas of expertise, and interests and we’ll take care of the rest. This way you can focus on sharing your talent with volunteer organizations, future employers, and fellow Keeners.