WIZO Study Reports: "85% of the Public in Israel is Socially Involved"
Translated by: Yonatan Sredni
WIZO recently conducted a new survey on volunteering and social involvement, in which it sought to examine the scope of volunteer rates among the public and its perceptions of the public's responsibility to act for the community.
The survey was conducted as part of a campaign led by WIZO to recruit tens of thousands of graduates from its educational institutions to join an Alumni (Graduate) Organization it is establishing as a new volunteer body that will work for the community. The goal of the Graduate Association, initiated and established by World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky, is to expand WIZO's social activity and to create a foundation for social activity and contribution to the community among its tens of thousands of graduates, who were educated in WIZO's youth villages and schools.
Thousands of WIZO graduates have already joined the Graduate Association. They include many well-known figures, including: former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, TV presenter Eden Harel, MK Shelly Yachimovich, the musical duo Guy & Yahel, and KKL-JNF World Chairman Danny Atar - all of whom are proud graduates of WIZO schools and youth villages.
Left to right:, Brig. Gen. David Suissa - former chief artillery officer and chairman of the WIZO Graduate Association, Eden Harel - MC, MK Shelly Yachimovich, Danny Atar - Chairman of KKL-JNF, Prof. Rivka Lazovsky - World WIZO Chairperson, Oshra Friedman - Chairperson of the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women (Photo Credit: Kfir Sivan)
The most encouraging figure in the survey, conducted by Sapio Research & Development, showed that among a sample of 400 respondents aged 18 and above, 85% of the public works in various ways for the community and shows social responsibility. 70% are actively active, 15% are satisfied with social involvement only, especially in the social networks, and 37% are actively active and socially involved.
The Religious Sector Volunteers More
Among social activists, about one-third (37%) of the public is actively volunteering, ie, devotes time to activities for others. 40% volunteer on a weekly basis, 30% on a monthly basis and one-third less frequently or only on special occasions such as holidays. In the breakdown of volunteers, the survey shows that the religious sector volunteers at a higher rate than the secular sector - 37% compared to 21%.
Other major avenues in which the public contributes to the community are donations to associations or organizations (48%), and social networks (47%). For example, 33% post and share social posts, and 29% help different people or entities by sharing and promoting various requests for help.
Social networks provide half of the public with a significant platform for involvement and influence for the society. Not only that, but in the public's perceptions of the modes of volunteering, 40% testified that sharing social issues was considered a voluntary activity on behalf of the community.
Despite the encouraging volunteering rates, the survey still shows that almost two-thirds of the public does not volunteer at all, and the main reasons for this are lack of time (61%) or difficulty committing to regular activity (48%).
The majority (63%) volunteer for self-satisfaction (49%) and 53% volunteer because of their familiarity and commitment to the person or body they volunteer in.
Should the State Reward Volunteers?
Even though the main motives for volunteering are personal, such as a desire for satisfaction and self-fulfillment, almost 75% of the public still feels that the state should compensate in some way for volunteering, for example through tax benefits, entitlement to special services or even direct payment.
As to which frameworks Israelis volunteer in, the study shows that more than half of the public (55%) volunteers through a non-profit or social organization, about half of them independently. 36% volunteer within the framework of the workplace or school or in a framework related to their children.
A third of the public prefers to volunteer with children (32%), about a quarter with youth (25%), and a quarter prefer to help the economically or handicapped. Men clearly noted that they preferred to volunteer in security and politics.
Another issue examined is what is the public's perception of the state's responsibility for needy groups, and whether the lack of aid increases or weakens the desire to volunteer. 76% of the public believes that despite the state's obligation to care for all its citizens there is room for volunteering. Sixteen percent also believe that there is a duty to volunteer because the government can not take care of all the issues.
"The survey is a mirror image of a committed, compassionate Israeli society that takes an active part in building a more just and egalitarian society. It reflects the beautiful Israel." World WIZO Chairperson Prof. Rivka Lazovsky said.
"Nevertheless, there is still a significant potential for volunteering that is still not being taken advantage of, and it seems that there is a need to develop and promote voluntary frameworks that allow flexibility, and a platform that helps to locate and adapt volunteers and a volunteer framework," Lazovsky said. "WIZO does this in practice and offers a variety of possibilities for social volunteering. I call upon the public in general - and our graduates in particular - to join us in a journey of giving and influencing the social situation in Israel."
• To join the Graduate Organization of WIZO's schools and youth villages, which will serves as a new volunteer body that will work for the community, go to the Facebook page of the WIZO Graduate Association or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To read the orginal article (in Hebrew) click here.