More Singaporeans volunteering, but for shorter periods

More Singaporeans are volunteering, but these individuals are spending less time volunteering, says a survey on volunteerism and philanthropy in Singapore. The survey, which has been conducted since 2000, covered 1,512 individuals aged 15 and above.

The National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre, which conducted the 2012 Individual Giving Survey said that 32.3 percent of individuals in Singapore volunteered, making it a record high. The previous high was 23.3 percent in 2010.

The survey, which is carried out every two years, notes that the growth in informal volunteers as a major reason behind the record number of volunteers.

Despite the rise in volunteer numbers, the average number of volunteer hours fell from 104 in 2010 to 72 last year. Total donations were steady and came in at $1.1 billion, a slight increase from 2010's $1.07 billion. Occasional giving was preferred by donors, and those who earned below $1,000 monthly gave the highest proportion of their income.

The survey defines volunteering as activities done out of your own free will without expecting financial payment to help others outside your household, family or relatives. It excludes compulsory community work such as the Community Involvement Programme (CIP) in schools, but includes informal volunteering.

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