Recent research from the charity CSV discovered half of those surveyed thought that young people were less likely to volunteer because they spend more time online. But what if charities could utilise the obsession with the internet in order to bring in volunteers?
Tom Hall, a young volunteer for the Calm charity said: “The ubiquitous use of technology amongst today’s young people is something of a double-edged sword for charities worldwide. On one hand, young people are enthralled by a hundred different channels, all demanding their attention at once which provide quick and easy stimulus. On the other, the rise of the internet and social media has provided charities with hundreds of new ways to access an engaged and often enthusiastic group of potential volunteers.”
Many charities already make the most of technology in this way, such as Metro which provides support for the LGBT community. It offers an online mentoring service through Skype for people who might find it hard to meet in person.
Patricia Durr, head of policy, communications and fundraising at Metro, said: “Our national Youth Chances research into the experiences of young LGBTQ people shows that although young people do turn to online services and social media for information and support, what they value most is relationships and emotional connection. What matters most to people is choice and flexibility in volunteering.”
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