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Only every eighth Czech does regular volunteer work

10. May 2011

Only 12 per cent of Czechs, that is approximately every eighth one, regularly do volunteer work for non-profit organizations. In Europe, on the contrary, it is almost a third of the population, as revealed by the Eurobarometer survey. Two thirds of the Czechs involved in volunteering do so out of true altruism, the rest seek new experience and a break from the daily working routine. Czechs simply want do have fun while helping and that is why they most often volunteer for outdoor activities. At the same time, they realize that help is most needed by the disabled and the elderly.

Only 12 per cent of Czechs, that is approximately every eighth one, regularly do volunteer work for non-profit organizations. In Europe, on the contrary, it is almost a third of the population, as revealed by the Eurobarometer survey. Two thirds of the Czechs involved in volunteering do so out of true altruism, the rest seek new experience and a break from the daily working routine. Czechs simply want do have fun while helping and that is why they most often volunteer for outdoor activities. At the same time, they realize that help is most needed by the disabled and the elderly. They would volunteer more if somebody arranged it for them and if they got support from their employer, they say. These are the results of a survey commissioned by Vodafone on the occasion of the European Year of Volunteering.

Why isn’t volunteering popular in the Czech Republic?

  • People don’t have enough information as to where to get involved in volunteering.
  • Three people out of four say they would volunteer if they got support from their employer.
  • People expect the employer should organize the work for them, arrange it with the non-profit organizations, or pay them as if they were at work.
  • Only 5 per cent of Czechs get volunteer day-offs paid by their employer.
  • 3 per cent of Czech companies make volunteering part of their teambuilding activities.

“Vodafone employees can spend two days per year working for a non-profit organization while being paid as if they were at work. Moreover, the company takes care of all necessary arrangements and even pays their insurance,” says Jiří Tošner, President of the Hestia Civic Association – the National Volunteer Center. Vodafone offers ever more volunteer opportunities – this year, as part of the European Year of Volunteering, the employees can for the first time volunteer abroad, taking part in several-week work camps. All year long, the employees, including the top management, get involved in volunteering as a part of original team activities. Most employees use the opportunity to do volunteering regularly.

Helping must be fun

According to the survey, Czechs are willing to do volunteer work for non-profit or community service organizations but they must find pleasure in it. 52 per cent of volunteers get involved in the environmental sector – these are mainly young people. 40 per cent of respondents volunteer in local cultural or sports activities, and less then a third, 28 per cent, help children, for example in children’s homes.

“We have noted that there is a great difference between the sectors where people actually help and those where they think help is most needed. It has much to do with the demanding character of work in the latter. To put it simply, Czechs prefer volunteer work which brings them pleasure and take volunteering as a break to their working routine,” says Přemysl Filip, Senior Manager for Social Responsibility at Vodafone.

While 42 per cent of Czechs think that help is most needed by the disabled and the elderly, only 15 per cent of them get involved in volunteer work at old people’s homes or organizations helping the disabled. On the contrary, 40 per cent of people volunteer in local cultural or sports projects, while only 4 per cent of them think that help in this sector is really needed.

The underprivileged get most help by volunteers in South Moravia. People in Prague most often volunteer in the environmental sector, cleaning the woods or the surroundings of rivers and brooks, for example. Animals get most attention by volunteers in the regions of Ústí nad Labem and Pardubice. People in the region of Olomouc most often help disadvantaged children, and also the disabled and the elderly. Local culture and sports get most volunteer support in Prague and in the regions of Plzeň and Karlovy Vary.

While only 12 per cent of Czechs do regular volunteer work, two thirds of them help the non-profit sector through financial donations. They mostly contribute between CTK 251 and 500 a year. Less then 20 per cent of people contribute more than CZK 1,000 a year.

Volunteering in the Czech Republic

  • 12 per cent of Czechs do regular volunteer work (at least once a year).
  • Men prefer manual jobs whereas women show no preference between manual and mental volunteer work.
  • Two out of three volunteers have altruistic motivation, i.e. they do volunteer work because they think it is needed.
  • 52 per cent of volunteers get involved in the environmental sector, 40 per cent of people support local cultural or sports projects, 28 per cent of volunteers help disadvantaged children.
  • Czechs think that help is most needed by the disabled and the elderly.
  • Two thirds of Czechs support the non-profit sector financially, most often contributing between CZK 251 and 500 a year.
  • When asked if they know that this year is the European Year of Volunteering, about a tenth of respondents answered yes.

The survey was conducted in April 2011 at an Internet panel of the Data Collect company. The respondents were people between 18 and 60 years of age, employed at different companies. Volunteering was understood as community service or help to a non-profit organization, conducted voluntarily without being paid.