The under 25’s, often dubbed Generation Z, should really be the called Generation V as they are far more likely to volunteer their time to support a good cause than any other age group.
A new study by the Co-op, issued today (15 December) to coincide with Local Charities Day, shows that more than half (52 per cent) of those aged 18-25 have given their time to support a charitable organisation in the past 12 months.
The Co-op research, which shines a spotlight on charity giving, also reveals that on average Brits give £100 (£99.45) a year with men on average tending to donate more than women - £111.79 per year compared to £90.28.
However, women (82 per cent) are more likely to donate their time to a good cause than men (78 per cent) and are significantly more likely to have volunteered over the past year (43 per cent) compared to 34 per cent for men. Southampton with an average contribution of £142 per person is the most generous city in UK.
When it comes to the psychology of giving, there appear to be two main drivers - a sense of responsibility and a desire to hand something back - that motivate Brits to give so generously. More specifically 43 per cent say that they contribute to charity as they feel a responsibility to support others, while 42 per cent want to give something back to society.
However, the feel good factor should not be underestimated. Just under a third (31 per cent) admit that a key reason for giving is because it makes them feel happy and 23 per cent say it makes them feel better about themselves.
According to the research, half of Brits (51 per cent) say they donate the same amount as five years ago but one in three (33 per cent) say they feel more inclined to give compared to 2012 – double the figure who feel less inclined (17 per cent).
Rufus Olins, Group Communities and Campaigns Director, at the Co-op said: “One of the most encouraging findings is the civic spirit shown by young people. It is clear that the younger generation, which is often criticised for its selfishness, want to participate and engage even more than their parents or grand-parents.
“At a time when inequality is threatening the wellbeing of our communities, it is heartening to see that the appetite exists to reverse the trend.
“This comes as no surprise to me because as part of my role at the Co-op, which has supported 8,000 local good causes via its membership scheme this year, I am privileged to see on a daily basis the fantastic work that these small charities, run by armies of volunteers, are doing to improve their own communities.”!
Psychologist Donna Dawson, said: “The 18-to-25 year age-group have shown that the desire to change things for the better in our society is being instilled at a young age; and their combination of energy, enthusiasm and idealism sets a sterling example for the rest of us. Times may be tough, but this seems only to have increased British compassion and concern, rather than diminished it.
“It is in caring for each other and supporting the less fortunate that the true values of a nation are revealed. Amidst continued economic uncertainty, it is heart-warming to see that people are more aware than ever that their charitable gifts and actions can make a huge difference, whether on a local or a national level. It is also a ‘win-win’ activity: the giving of our time and money to charity also helps us to feel better about ourselves.”
The report is published after the Co-op announced that it has distributed £20m to some 8,000 local good causes since it launched its membership scheme in September 2016.