Study reveals volunteers more likely to be happy with life

Happy people are more likely to donate and to volunteer, and those who do so tend to become happier, according to results released today (Sept 30) from the first national study in Singapore on the relationship between giving and subjective well-being.

Conducted by the National Volunteer & Philanthropy Centre (NVPC) and Professor David Chan — a Lee Kuan Yew Fellow and Professor of Psychology and Director of the Behavioural Sciences Institute at Singapore Management University — the study covered 1,512 individuals aged 15 and above and is part of NVPC’s Individual Giving Survey 2012.

Mr Laurence Lien, the Chief Executive Officer of NVPC, said today that many do not have time, nor see the act of giving as something that is “personally meaningful” to them. He added that with the survey results, chances are, people will now place volunteering and donating higher on their list of priorities.

Likewise, Professor Chan noted that the survey results are “not obvious” as some people will see it from a standard economic perspective, where giving involves losing time and money. He explained this is why it is “important” to establish the relationship between giving and subjective well-being.

The study showed that 66 per cent of those who volunteered and/or donated were satisfied and happy with their lives as compared to the 45 per cent figure among non-givers.

On top of that, the study also examined the relationship between givers’ intention to give in future and their experience with non-profit organisations.

About 88 per cent of volunteers who said that they were satisfied with their experience with the non-profit organisations they worked with indicated their intention to continue volunteering in the future. By comparison, only 70 per cent of those who were less satisfied said that they would continue to do so.

Me Lien noted that the results showed that it is important for non-profit organisations to manage volunteers and donors effectively, to develop “a positive giving experience” which would then increase the likelihood for volunteers and donors to continue giving.

Source: TODAY