Press release №1988


  • Volunteers are mainly driven by their desire to have fun, to feel important and to implement their potential
  • 91% of those who received any rewards for their volunteer work would continue volunteering even if they got nothing in return

Volunteers are driven by non-material things such as leisure, the desire to be useful, and self-realization.

MOSCOW, September 1, 2017. The Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents the results of a study devoted to the volunteers’ motivation.

Half of Russians (48%) say that leisure activities play an important role when choosing to volunteer. About a third of respondents need to feel useful (37%), to implement personal initiatives (32%), to gain new knowledge or skills (31%).

Three-quarters (77%) say they have received acknowledgment certificates and souvenirs as a reward. At the same time, certificates and presents are not essential for volunteers: 91% say that they would continue volunteering if they did not receive anything in return. However, additional supportive measures would increase involvement: two-thirds (66%) say they would be more involved in volunteering.

When it comes to rewards, many respondents appear to be motivated by leisure-related activities (opportunity to meet a celebrity, cultural or sport event invitation, and tour or trip organization). Recommendations are also important (recommendations for future course, to enter university or for job search). Thirty-five percent say that they like the opportunity to meet celebrities; 32% appreciate the opportunity to take courses; 30% like getting invitations for cultural events (30%). Financial benefits are less important (reduced transport tickets, air/train tickets, cheaper mobile phone/Internet services, preferential tariffs for communal services).

The Medialogia Company carried out an analysis of more than 600,000 mentions devoted to volunteering in the Russian media over a year. The media reported that volunteers participated in children’s search operation on Lake Ladoga, distributed the St George’s ribbons, helped to ensure order when people were lining up to see the relics of St Nicholas, helped in the organization of the FIFA Confederations Cup and other actions. President Vladimir Putin also touched upon volunteering.

The survey was conducted by VCIOIM from July 21 to August 15, 2017, and commissioned by the Association of Volunteer Centers and the Russian Civic Chamber. Data collection was carried out via Internet; the sample is based on the contact list of the Association of Volunteer Centers comprising volunteers on a regular and temporary basis; a total number of 25,000 contacts and 5,687 individuals participated in the survey. The sample can be biased towards all the persons involved in volunteering activities in Russia on a regular or temporary basis.

The Russian media publications were monitored and analyzed by the Medialogia Company using the company’s media database involving approximately 42,000 media sources such as television, radio, newspapers, magazines, news agencies and online media. The study took place from August 2016 to August 2017.


Why do you volunteer? (closed-ended question, not more than three answers, %)
  Total respondents
Desire to have interesting activities, to live an active life 48
Desire to be useful 37
Desire to realize one’s full potential, initiatives; self-realization   32
Desire to get extra knowledge, skills, qualification 31
Opportunity to solve common problems – personal problems and problems of other people 26
Desire to get new experience needed for future employment 18
Desire to realize one’ s ideas, values 17
Opportunity to get useful connections 15
Getting incentives – event invitations, trips; to meet famous people, et cet. 14
Desire to make new friends, acquaintances 14
Need to communicate with people, belong to a group   12
Desire to  engage in the activities of non-profit organizations, to do it professionally 7
Desire to get references for future employer or university 5
Other 1
Don't know 2


Have you ever received intangible rewards for volunteering? If yes, how often?  (closed-ended question, one answer, %)
  Total respondents
Regularly 15
Sometimes 37
Once or several times 25
Never 17
Don't know 6


What did your receive as a reward?  (open-ended question, not more than three answers, % of those who say they received rewards)
  Total respondents
Acknowledgement 54
Presents and souvenirs 47
Invitations for cultural and sports events 16
Public recognition 11
Food 10
Trips, tour packages 6
Other 26
We do not need rewards, we do not ask anything in return 1
Don't know 2


If there were no rewards, would you continue volunteering? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who say they received rewards)
  Total respondents
Definitely yes 61
Rather yes 30
Rather no 5
Definitely no 1
Don't know 3


If there were more intangible rewards, would you be more involved in volunteering? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of those who say they received rewards)
  Total respondents
Definitely yes 31
Rather yes 35
Rather no 12
Definitely no 6
Don't know 16


In your opinion, what could encourage volunteers like you?   (closed-ended question, not more than three answers, %)
  Total respondents
Leisure activities
To meet celebrities (culture, sports),  political figures 35
Invitations for cultural events 30
Invitations to visit sports events 9
Museum and exhibition invitations 6
Cinema invitations 5
To take courses 32
Assistance, recommendations to enter a university 17
Education benefits 17
Assistance, recommendations for job search 16
Financial benefits
Reduced air/train tickets 19
Reduced public transport fares 17
Reduced or free mobile phone/Internet services 9
Preferential tariffs for housing and communal services 9
Other motivations
Media publication with participant references 9
Include volunteer hours into work experience internship 6
Additional days off work 5
To have names posted on the recognition board 5
Other 11
We do not need rewards, we do not ask anything in return 10
Don't know 2

Note: Using materials from the site or, as well as distributed by VCIOM, the reference to the source (or hyperlink for the electronic media) is obligatory! The use of the Medialogia system content, fully or partially, must be accompanied by the reference to the Medialogia Company.

  Results of our study
  In focus