Getting into the ‘giving habit’: the dynamics of volunteering in the UK

Chris Dawson , Paul Baker, David John Dowell

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)
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    Scholarship on volunteering has paid insufficient attention to how experiences of volunteering in the past affect current and future participation. The importance of this relationship is emphasized by the introduction of public policies across the globe focusing on national service programmes and community service in schools with the underlying intention of inducing ongoing pro-social behavior. Using the UK longitudinal data, this article analyzes the prevalence of persistent individual volunteering behavior over the life-course, and most importantly, the extent to which past volunteering has a causal influence on current and future participation. Strong evidence of this relationship is provided, suggesting that volunteer-stimulating policy measures—such as the UK government’s National Citizen Service initiative for all young people between 16 and 17 years of age—will have a more profound effect because they do not only affect current volunteering activities but are also likely to induce a permanent change in favor of volunteering.
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages16
    JournalVoluntas: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations
    VolumeFirst Online
    Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2019


    • Social policy
    • Voluntary work
    • Persistence
    • Warm glow
    • Social capital


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