As HALO celebrates Volunteer Appreciation Week, it's important to understand how essential volunteers are for organizations like HALO and the volunteer themselves!
Importance of Volunteers for Nonprofits
According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, approximately 68% of nonprofit organizations in the United States are run by volunteers, either currently or at the beginning of their organization. This is true of HALO as well. HALO started with compassionate and action-driven volunteers; now, 82% of HALO is still made up of volunteers and interns. This large group of volunteers represents all stages of life, from young volunteers to retirees. From different socioeconomic backgrounds and life experiences, volunteers bring together the community and the nonprofit organization. Volunteers give their time to help fill in gaps for what their communities need. This impact is an estimated value of over $100,000 per organization annually (Source: Civic Champs, The State of Nonprofit Volunteerism 2023 [NEW DATA]). Volunteers provide the foundation and support for organizations, just like HALO.
Importance of Volunteering for Yourself
Volunteering at all ages is beneficial for the whole being of a person: mentally, physically, socially, and spiritually. When kids and teenagers volunteer, a Search Institute study found that those youth have increased self-esteem, a sense of personal control, enhanced identity development, and life skills, like leadership, public speaking, dependability, job responsibility, and higher academic achievement. For older adults, a study found that those who regularly volunteered were more likely to enjoy a longer life than those who don't volunteer, including a 44% lower mortality rate. People who regularly volunteered saw an 8.54% increase in mental well-being and a 4.3% decrease in depression. Volunteering is a great way to stay active by walking more, lowering blood pressure, and gaining better thinking skills. As humans, we have a deeply rooted need to belong and be a part of a social group; volunteering is an opportunity to improve relationships professionally and personally. In a 2017 Deloitte Volunteerism Survey, 74% found that volunteerism provided an improved sense of purpose because of a drive to improve the world.
"Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another."