How can charities use technology to engage young volunteers? » Charity Digital News

How can charities use technology to engage young volunteers?

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.”

Related reading

  • Javier Garcia

    Engaging the young through the channels they already use and the things they are best at is incredibly important. It is one major key strand in the future of volunteering.

    A new generation of social enterprise/platform such as allows photographers and photo enthusiasts to share their best images to help raise funds for good causes. The platform also allows charities to share their message and spread the word of their good work raising their profile.

    The road to facilitating this shift in volunteering is being pioneered by a few social enterprises such as I would recommend charities registering and contributors sharing their images its a great way to help the causes you believe in.