People & Citizen Engagement
Committed Volunteer

What Is This?

This tool offers a profile of the committed volunteer. This was based on the evidence we found during our research (PDF, 451k).

What Is Its Use?

The following profile is a tool that helps you consider what sort of person is most likely to volunteer with engagement projects. It also gives you hints about where you’re most likely to find committed volunteers, for example, in a church or a mosque. Generally, fewer than two in 100 people are committed to volunteering. Arnstein’s Ladder is a rough and ready way of showing how people have different levels of engagement

Profile Of A Committed Volunteer

Older People and Citizen Engagement

An engaged older citizen is likely to be someone who:

  • Is in a minority of, say, one in a hundred for the most active forms of engagement.
  • Is on average about the age of 65.
  • Is likely to spend more time volunteering than the average citizen.
  • Has a social personality – agreeableness, helpfulness and understanding.
  • Is motivated by gaining personal health and well being in return for giving time and energy to the community.
  • Has above average levels of education.
  • Is in good physical health.
  • Has access to sufficient financial resources.
  • Gets involved in their community.

Has a religious belief.

It needs to be emphasised that the above are likelihoods.

This picture of the engaged older citizen needs adaptation or revision according to local differences. For example, in South Wales there are many trade unionists that are active citizens without necessarily fitting all the above characteristics.

Comment: This profile needs to be used with care. There are many older people doing huge amounts of volunteering – but comparatively few of them are active politically or democratically.