Compassion Counts More Than Ever
The belief that it is important to be personally involved in supporting causes in one’s community and in the world is growing among those in the U.S., according to this survey by PARADE Magazine. When asked how they would donate $100,000, respondents ranked animal welfare fourth among 16 different causes.
Public or community service has become a mainstay in contemporary society and many believe it is important to be personally involved in supporting a cause in their communities (94%) or the world (91%). An estimated 78% of respondents think that the actions of one person can improve the world, while the same amount believe they’re more involved in making a difference than their parents were.
Nine out of ten respondents strongly believe they are working hard to teach their children the importance of activism, specifically through leading by example (64%), talking to them about important issues and causes (51%), discussing their own charitable efforts with them (35%), taking them to meetings/volunteer engagements (32%), urging them to follow role models who work for positive change (31%), and encouraging them to donate money to causes (25%).
The motivations for public service vary, however 60% of respondents indicate they want to help other people and 57% want to make the world a better place. Another 49% would like to improve their own neighborhoods.
The volunteer activities that people are engaged in include delivering food to the hungry (37%), helping organize fundraising events (30%), participating in a cleanup at a local public area (32%), volunteering in a soup kitchen/food bank (24%), participating in an athletic event to raise money for a cause (21%), or mentoring a student (19%).
Despite difficult economic times, 87% of respondents say that they financially supported a cause last year. In 2009, survey respondents gave over $400 on average to the single cause they cared most about.