by Maria Lahiffe
You know that volunteers are at the heart of the non-profit sector, connecting with community and allowing us to stretch our limited resources to meet more stakeholder needs. Did you know that volunteers themselves can reap great benefits from their work? Consider including some of the following benefits in your next recruitment push.
A higher rate of volunteering in a population is correlated with a lower rate of mortality and reduced incidence of heart disease.  76% of people who volunteer report an improvement in their health over the previous 12 months. 
A number of studies have provided evidence that volunteering, specifically, is beneficial to mental health. Researchers speculate that this is because volunteering provides such a great package of benefits like pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment, along with opportunities such as
It appears that some of the benefits come from simply socializing with others. According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, close to 45 percent of people in the US and the UK admit to feeling lonely. Volunteering is a good way to get out of the house and interact with others, to reduce loneliness.
In people who have identified mental health disorders, volunteering has been shown to have a calming effect.   Volunteering has also been demonstrated to reduce dementia and depression in older persons.  This is probably because volunteering is linked to increased brain plasticity – i.e. a brain which is better able to respond to change. 
The Corporation for National and Community Service and Energize, Inc. have analyzed the results of numerous studies, which show that volunteering offers unique benefits beyond simple socialization. Here are some highlights:
Emphasize the benefits of volunteering when you are recruiting, to help people realize why supporting you is win-win for everyone!
Volunteer Ottawa offers a comprehensive suite of courses related to all aspects of running a non-profit or a charity. Click here for our event calendar. Subscribe to our Event RSS Feed to be among the first to know when a new workshop is added to the schedule.
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