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Aug 5, 2010

How to Keep Young Volunteers Engaged

My blog on volunteerism noted how brief and one-time the average volunteer effort was.  Here is a summary from the Chronicle of Philanthropy of a recent NY Times article that provides some insights on how to keep young volunteers engaged:

 As community service becomes more of a given in young people’s lives, research indicates that the nature of the work and follow-up service learning affect how much volunteers get out of the experience, and whether they keep it up, a New York Times business columnist writes.

“Studies have shown that, generally, community service for whatever reason is a good thing. But how it’s done and whether it also involves service learning — that is, lessons that discuss homelessness, say, or hunger in a larger context — make a difference,” Alina Tugend says in her Shortcuts column.

Ms. Tugend cites studies and experts suggesting that students need to understand the connection between the work they are doing and how it will help solve social problems, particularly if the service involves menial or repetitive jobs.