Motivations and Benefits of Students Volunteering

Last Updated: 17 May 2021
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The following report examines the factors that motivate students to take part in volunteering work. The piece largely draws its insights from an American Education Research Journal and a peer reviewed article from Sweden's Linnacus University. The goal is to provide findings on what motivates university students into engaging in volunteer work, the report offers several ideas for recommendations. The report provides concise findings on what motivates students into taking part in volunteering work.


Volunteering is a necessary part of the society as it is associated with numerous benefits for both the active and passive participants. While this fact remains, many students are usually unwilling to participate in volunteering program for varied reasons.

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Some lack motivating factors since the work is free while others do not consider volunteer to be important or of any meaningful use to the society. Most universities have for long encouraged their students to take up volunteering work. Through volunteering, students gain from experience.

For instance, they help give back to the society by helping the disadvantaged and improve their social skills. The report aims to discuss the motivations of volunteering. In doing so, the benefits that students can derive from participating in volunteer work will be reviewed. The benefits include meeting new people, acquiring useful skills, and learning the importance of creating community awareness about certain social gaps.

The piece will also provide recommendations to help to universities promote the program to the participants. The piece largely draws its insights from an American Education Research Journal and a peer reviewed article from Sweden's Linnacus University.

 Motivations for Student to do Volunteer Work

One of the motivations that encourage students to engage in volunteer work is the need to meet new people and help their cause. The Students make new friends with others like them from other faculties or schools which serves to improve their social interactions for students engaging in volunteer work provides them with the opportunity to meet strangers and have a positive impact on their lives. Research indicates that 74% of students who were actively involved in volunteer work experienced broader social ties and friendships (Fermnadez, Linett, and Nomoto 2016).

It is easier for students with similar interests to interact that it is the case within the campus. As can be seen in the figure below, the number of volunteers in the University age bracket is still very low and thus the need to encourage students to enrol.

Benefits of Volunteer Work

Another important motivation that lures students into being part of volunteer work is the fact that they develop useful skills and work experience. In the process of helping with volunteer work, students can learn various professional skills that can assist them with their future career and their resume. Research indicates that 51% of fresh graduates in employment began working in volunteering programs (Serow1991). Volunteering comes with a sense of happiness and self-fulfillment thus enticing students to take part in such programs. Also, 39% of non-volunteer students strongly believe volunteering in their academic course can entice them to engage in volunteer work (Serow1991). Volunteer work can act as an easy route to employment more so where the work involved relates to the course the participants are taking in the University.

Feeling of Happiness in Helping People

The other motivation that student can gain from volunteering work is the feeling of happiness in helping others. The participants make a social difference that they feel proud of and that acts as a motivational factor to engage in volunteer work (Serow 1991). The feeling that one is making a meaningful contribution to the society and organizations that address the social plight of the society is enough motivation to encourage students to take part in more volunteer program. Everyone likes to be part of a significant social change, and volunteer work offers this chance to the student.


To sum up, different motivations can serve to encourage more students to engage in volunteering program. Engaging in volunteer work provides students with an opportunity to improve their chances of employability. What is more, students get to meet new students with similar interests. Lastly, students feel happy helping others and that lures them into volunteer programs.


To encourage more student to join the volunteering program the university should organize events where student volunteers can meet to share their experiences. Organizing such forums can both fulfill the need for students to socialize and act as a motivation for more students to engage in the volunteer program.

Young people are thrill seekers and meeting new friends to share their experiences-both life's and those from the program-can help boost the number of students joining the volunteer program. The events should have fun activities that students love such as music, famous artists, and food. . The University should organize short courses where experienced student volunteers can showcase their experience by teaching potential members the benefits of enrolling.

This adds to their skills and employability. Such courses have a high chance of succeeding since it involves students teaching students unlike an outsider or a teacher doing so. The new lanners would be in a better position to learn from their colleagues who also share their experiences of the program. A youngster encouraging another is more effective than an older party teaching the same to a youngster.  Another effective recommendation that would serve to attract more students to the volunteer program would be the use of flyers, adverts, and colorful videos about the pleasant experience of students in the volunteer program. Young people are always attracted to interesting videos and adverts as they form part of their daily lives on social media.

Through sharing the videos and adverts, students improve their social life as they meet other new interested parties. As such, using these tools may be the most effective way to reach to potential student-volunteers4 who are not already in the program. Videos, flyers, and ads may work better than word of mouth. Most campus students spend more time on the Internet than they do when they interact with each other. As such, it is easier for new volunteers to find the information about the volunteer program from popular social sites that from friends.


  1. Femandez, P Linett, Q ; Nomoto, T 2016, `student volunteering in Sweden and the motivations driving this phenomenon `
  2. Bachelor Thesis,Linnacus University ,Sweden.Serow, R, C 1991, `Students and voluntarism: looking into the motives of community service participants'
  3. American Educational Research Journal, vol.28, No.3, pp 543-556.

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Motivations and Benefits of Students Volunteering. (2018, Apr 25). Retrieved from

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