Singaporeans who volunteer or donate to help others more likely to be happy

Singaporeans who volunteer or donate to help others more likely to be happy

SINGAPORE - A nationwide study found that Singaporeans who volunteer or donate to help others are more likely to be satisfied or happy with their lives.

Conducted by the National Volunteer & Philantrophy Centre (NVPC), the survey found a positive correlation between the well-being of the giver and the act of giving by either volunteering or donating.

As part of the Individual Giving Survey in 2012, NVPC conducted face-to-face interviews with 1,512 Singapore residents in their own homes. Done biannually, the survey tracks volunteerism and philanthropy trends in Singapore.

Subjective Well-Being (SWB), refers to the extent to which individuals are satisfied and happy with their lives.

Givers who had volunteered and/or donated money in the past 12 months tend to have higher levels of Subjective Well-Being and are more satisfied and happy with their lives than non-givers, who had neither volunteered nor donated money in the past 12 months.

Those who give more - whether it is their time or money - and do so more frequently also tend to rate higher on satisfaction and happiness.

The survey also found that this positive relationship is not dependent on the socio-economic status of the givers and non-givers.

Previous research have suggested that giving and SWB are likely to have reciprocal positive effects on each other.

In addition, efforts that enhance an individuals' subjective well-being are likely to increase their tendency to give, leading to a positive spiral in society for both the giver and the recipient.

jeankng@sph.com.sg

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