Young London professionals keen to give more to voluntary sector

Most young full-time workers in London want to spend more of their time volunteering, according to a new study.

A survey of under-35s working in the capital found 53 per cent want to volunteer more than they do, rising to 60 per cent among 18 to 24 year olds. The number falls to 35 per cent among over-55s, the oldest age group in the survey.

The study was carried out by the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School, commissioned by City Philanthropy and drawing on a YouGov survey of more than 1,000 Londoners.

Nearly half of under-35s agreed employees are looking for companies that aim for social and environmental value as well as business success and profit. Current and recent workplace schemes and initiatives were second to friends as the largest influence on the giving and volunteering of the under-35s surveyed, with 26 per cent mentioning its positive influence.

More to Give: London Millennials Working Towards a Better World found about four-fifths of respondents already give money to charity. However, over 35 per cent of under-35s want to give more. Under-35s were also interested in new ways of giving, with 21 per cent interested in alternatives such as social investment.

Visiting professor of charity funding and co-director of the Centre for Charitable Giving and Philanthropy at Cass Business School Cathy Pharoah co-authored the report. Pharoah said philanthropy makes a contribution to “innumerable” aspects of society’s well-being, but the challenge is how to increase it in a time of budget cuts and many growing and competing demands.

“All the evidence indicates that giving has remained fairly flat for some years. The results of this research are exciting because they reveal significant new potential to increase the numbers of young people involved in giving and volunteering. It is within our reach to build a stronger base for future giving.”

The report recommends that London’s employers create more workplace-based opportunities to give younger employees a route into more volunteering and giving and value it more explicitly as part of a work culture.

Lord Mayor of London Alan Yarrow encouraged employers to be part of a working culture that promotes responsibility for the wider world.

“Our young people want to use their wealth of talent, spirit and enthusiasm to help those less able to help themselves, but they also want to work for employers that share that ideal.”

Access the report here.

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