Volunteer survey

Volunteering in South Australia survey

The Volunteering in South Australia in 2016 survey report (PDF 2MB), conducted by Harrison Research and involving more than 1,500 respondents aged 15 years or over, reveals that volunteer participation in South Australia continues to remain high with more than 68% of the population involved in some form of volunteering.

The 2016 report results show that more than 920,000 South Australians donate their time and energy to contribute to the community.  

Approximately 42% of respondents volunteered formally with a local community organisation or group, while 49% volunteered on an informal basis, for example helping a neighbour with their grocery shopping.

These efforts contribute to an estimated 1.76 million volunteer hours per week.

Other interesting results from the 2016 survey are that:

  • Volunteering is more common amongst those who:
    • are female
    • are aged between 35 and 54 years
    • are in paid employment
    • are university educated
    • were born in Australia
    • reside in a couple family and are married or in a de facto relationship.
  • In 2016, sport and physical recreation groups (29%, up from 24% in 2014) surpassed welfare and community groups (25%, down from 27%), as the dominant type of organisation at which people volunteer. Religious groups (13%)  and education or training organisations (12%) were the third and fourth most common organisation types at which formal volunteers have spent the most hours volunteering in the last 12 months. There were no other significant variations in the types of organisations benefitting compared to 2014.
  • The two most common reasons for volunteering have remained the same in 2016; these are to 'help others or help the community' (32% in 2016, down from 40% in 2014), 'giving something back' (15% decreasing slightly after an increase to 19% in 2014).
  • The proportion of regional respondents engaged in formal volunteering in 2016 remained significantly higher (58%) compared to metropolitan respondents (37%).
  • The single biggest reason cited for those who did not formally volunteer was 'work commitments' (42%) followed by 'family commitments' (27%). 
  • 97% of respondents see some benefits to the community from volunteering - 47% up from 25% in 2014, felt that 'it builds community spirit and facilitates social cohesion', 24% stated that 'people get help they would otherwise not get', and a further one in five (21%) believed 'many community projects would cease to exist'.
  • In relation to the level of young people volunteering, the survey results indicate that 21% of the population aged 15-24 years engage in formal volunteering, which represents a statistically significant increase compared to 2014 results which registered 14% of 15-24 year olds engaging in formal volunteering.
  • 91% responded affirmatively to whether volunteer experience should be listed on job applications, and a further 53% of respondents thought that volunteer work was helpful in gaining employment.