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What can you do for your community?

 

Being an active member of your community proves to have a net positive impact on society as a whole. One of the most valuable contributions you can make to your community is volunteerism. By participating in events such as the ones included in this website, you are essentially volunteering. Your participation supports local business, aids local charities, helps develop relationships with neighbors, and strengthens the community family. By giving back to your community you are, raising money for the causes that deserve it most, developing interpersonal skills, acquiring knowledge, and donating your service to the people who need it most. These efforts combined with efforts made by members of other communities, contribute to society on a much larger, global scale.

In a study published in the Journal of Social Psychology, researchers attempt to examine the correlation between volunteerism and both community and volunteer benefits though a psychological lens. They then continue to investigate further the standards of community service and volunteer events and how motivated volunteers are produced if the benefits volunteers gain, are identified prior to the event.

Their initial investigation is focused around the use of social marketing to promote volunteerism. Today, utilizing social media platforms and technological communication forums to promote the participation in community events, seems like the most sensible and efficient way to attract attention and recruit participants. To conduct their study, researchers separated the subjects of the experiment into three categories; “…those ready to volunteer, those open to good offers to volunteer, and those resistant to volunteering (Stukas 243).” The factors used to determine these placements are personality traits such as interpersonal skills, impressionability, and open mindedness. By evaluating these traits, researchers are hoping to develop improved methods of attracting participants over a prolonged period of time, yielding a steady improvement of volunteer rates.

There findings can be broken down into several categories. Their first report suggests that the most effective way to implement ongoing participation, is exposure to children and young adults; the most appropriate channel being social media. This can also be implemented in their homes. If parents are active members of the community and support volunteerism, it is more likely the children will become active members of their community. The same can be same as the two other categories; the attitudes and perceptions of community involvement of parents are reflected by their children, both positive and negative. This exposure depends largely on the children’s perception of volunteerism. By evoking feelings of sympathy, empathy, self-perceived helpfulness, and contempt, marketing campaigns prove to be more successful in recruiting participants.

The next most significant finding of their research is the effects of socialization on community involvement. Socialization shapes the way children perceive moral issues, their personal motivations, and their self-esteem. By promoting socialization children become more inclined to become involved and feel a sense of belonging in their community. This socialization proves to be the most influential in deciding whether volunteerism will become determinate upon  “…intrinsic motivation and values based motivation or self-orientated and extrinsic motivation(Stukas 249).” Factors that shape this motivation include volunteerism advocacy from parents, support from peers, support from schools, and support from organizations.

Researchers conclude that a number of factors attribute to the successful recruitment of volunteers, so why not be one of them?

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