Press release №2236
05.12.2019
VOLUNTEERS: HEROES OF NOWADAYS

IN BRIEF

  • Most of Russians (60%), with varying degrees, are aware of the volunteering activities in their region
  • 73% of respondents consider that today much more people are involved in volunteering than it was 10-15 years ago
  • 68% consider that the volunteer projects are important to Russia
  • According to 49% of respondents the key reason behind people’s desire to volunteer is to feel useful

The number of volunteers keeps increasing, according to 73% of Russians. This share has tripled over eleven years.  

MOSCOW, December 5, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey describing the attitudes of Russians towards volunteers and their activity.

The number of volunteers keeps increasing, according to 73% of Russians. This share has tripled over eleven years.  

MOSCOW, December 5, 2019. Russian Public Opinion Research Centre (VCIOM) presents the data of a survey describing the attitudes of Russians towards volunteers and their activity.

Most of Russians (60%), with varying degrees, are aware of the volunteering activities in their regions. At the same time, 13% say that they are interested in certain projects.  

An overwhelming majority of respondents believe that the volunteer movement has extended: 73% of Russians are more involved in various volunteering activities than 10-15 years ago. This figure is steadily growing:  only 24% of respondents shared this stance in 2008. The recent survey shows that only 7% of respondents think that the volunteer movement has declined.

A majority (68%) considers that the projects volunteers are involved in are important. Only 17% say that such projects are of little importance to Russia.

Russians perceive positively volunteers: 47% report positive perceptions; 14% respect them; 12% approve of their activity; 6% are thankful to them; 8% say that they do a good job. One percent of respondents have negative attitudes; 13% failed to express their opinion.

In the Russian mind, “volunteer” is mainly associated with helping other people (38%). Half of Russians (49%) consider that volunteers are driven by their desire to feel that they are useful. Other popular reasons for volunteering are “opportunity to solve personal and common problems” (30%), “desire to fulfil self-potential” (22%), “desire to live an active and interesting life” (21%).

Most of respondents (88%) are confident that the government and public bodies should help volunteers, public movements and activists form non-commercial organizations. Only 6% of Russians disagree with this stance.

Russian VCIOM-Sputnik public opinion surveys were conducted from May to December, 2019. Russians aged 18 and older took part in the surveys. A total of 1,000 respondents were interviewed daily in at least 80 Russian regions till June 17, 2018. Starting from June 18, 2018, 1,600 respondents have been interviewed daily. A 7-day mean is shown. Results are based on telephone interviews. A stratified dual-frame random sample based on a complete list of Russian landline and mobile phone numbers is used. The data were weighted according to selection probability and social and demographic characteristics. The margin of error at a 95% confidence level does not exceed 1% for the data collected during seven days (11,200 interviewees). In addition to sampling error, minor changes in question wording and different circumstances arising during the fieldwork can introduce bias into the survey.

Do you know about volunteering activities in your region?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  XII.19
I am well aware of certain projects, events   13
I heard something but I do not know any details 47
I heard nothing 40

In your opinion, are people involved in volunteering more actively today than it was 10-15 years ago?  (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  X.08 XII.18 XII.19
Today they do voluntary work more than before 24 67 73
Today they do voluntary work less than before 33 11 7
At the same level 20 12 12
Don’t know 23 10 8
In your opinion, do volunteers participate in the projects which are likely or unlikely to be important for people living in Russia? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  XII.19
They participate in the projects which are likely to be very important for people in Russia 68
They participate in the projects which are unlikely to be important for people in Russia 17
Don’t know 15

What emotions do you feel about people involved in volunteering? (% of respondents, open-ended question, up to 3 answers)
  XII.19
Positive 47
Respect 14
Approval 12
They do a good job 8
Thankfulness 6
Neutral 6
Admiration 4
Pride 4
Joy 3
Negative 1
Sympathy 1
Other 2
Don’t know 13
What comes first to your mind when you hear the word “volunteer”?  (% of respondents, open-ended question, up to 3 answers)
  XII.18 XII.19
Helping people/ animals/ search/ participation/ care 42 38
Positive associations 27 20
Free/ unconditional activity/ altruism 17 18
Voluntarily/ help under no pressure / volunteer / initiative 13 14
Kindness / good / sincerity/ attention / care/ love / mercy / outgoingness / openness/ responsibility 14 8
Youth/ students/ good boys and girls/ educated 9 3
Positive thing (in general)   2 3
Events / activities 2 3
Negative associations 2 2
Active life position / activist 1 2
Charity 2 1
Organization / group of people/ public activity / movement / important service 3 1
Beautification / creating green spaces - 1
Loafers/ non-workers/ plenty of free time 2 1
Respects/ mutual understanding / admiration / pride / bravery / human decency  / singlemindedness 3 1
Promotion of something 1  0
Soviet times / “komsomolets” / “young pioneers” / “timurovets” (members of youth organization) 1  0
Patriots / Russia’s future 1  0
I wish they were more numerous 1  0
None 1 1
Other 3 4
Don’t know 10 14
In your opinion, why do people participate in volunteering?  (closed-ended question, up to 3 answers, % of respondents)
  XII.18 XII.19
Desire to feel they are useful 46 49
Opportunity to solve their own problems and the problems of other people 29 30
Desire to fulfil their potential and initiatives   20 22
Desire to live an active and interesting life 23 21
Desire to get new friends 20 20
Desire to make their own vision, values come true 13 14
Desire to get additional experience, skills 15 13
Desire to get professional experience 15 12
Opportunity to get new connections 10 8
Getting incentives (invitation for events, trips, etc.) 9 7
Don’t know 6 6
In your opinion, should the government and public bodies hep volunteers, public movements and activists from non-profit organizations in solving the key problems related to their activities? (closed-ended question, one answer, % of total respondents)
  XII.19
Rather yes 88
Rather no 6
Don’t know 6
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