Summary of Findings
 

 

Summary of Findings

 
 

1. Stage One: Quantitative Telephone Survey of the General Public

 
 

1.1 Experience and Motive of Participating in Volunteer Work: Organized Volunteering

 
 

The first part of this survey was aimed at gauging the general public's experience and motive of participating in organized volunteering.

 
 

1.1.1 To begin with, our interviewers briefly explained the meaning of organized volunteering to all respondents. Result revealed that of the 1,555 respondents interviewed, more than three-quarters of them (78%) have never participated in organized volunteering (donation excluded) in contrast to 22% who said they have (Table 1.1).

 
 Table 1.1 - Experience of Participating in Organized Volunteering
 
"First of all, let me briefly explain the meaning of organized volunteering. In short, organized volunteering generally refers to any services that are provided by aspiring individuals who are willing to contribute their time and effort for no material returns. Besides, these voluntary services, such as visiting, escorting, providing clerical work, homework tutoring as well as joining Kai Fong Association and Alumnus, aim at improving the community and are organized by voluntary organizations or groups." Using this definition, have you participated in any organized volunteering excluding donation before today?
  Frequency Percentage
 Yes 348  22.4% 
 No 1,205  77.5% 
 Forgotten 0.1% 
 Total 1,555  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

1.1.2 Amongst those who have ever participated in organized volunteering, more than one-quarter (27%) mentioned that the last time they volunteered was within one month and a total of 64% of this sub-sample has volunteered over the past 12 months, which is equivalent to 12% of the overall sample (Table 1.2).

 
 Table 1.2 - Last Participation in Organized Volunteering
 
(Only ask those who have participated in organized volunteering before) When was the last time that you participated in organized volunteering?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base=1,555)
 <=1 month 83  27.2%  5.3% 
 <=2 months (but >1 month) 16  5.3%  1.0% 
 <=3 months (but > 2 months) 21  6.8%  1.4% 
 <=6 months (but > 3 months) 30  9.8%  1.9% 
 <=1 year (but > 6 months) 44  14.3%  2.8% 
 <=2 years (but > 1 year) 37  12.3%  2.4% 
 <=3 years (but > 2 years) 32  10.6%  2.1% 
 > 3 years (please specify) 23  7.4%  1.5% 
 Forgotten 19  6.3%  1.2% 
 Total 305  100.0%   
 Base 348     
 Missing case(s) 43     
 
 

1.1.3 In regard to the number of times participating in organized volunteering, excluding those who were certain that they had not participated in organized volunteering over the past 12 months, 28% reported that they have volunteered twice, and 13% only volunteered once. However, around one-fifth of them (22%) have volunteered much more frequently with eleven times or more within the said period. Taking the average of all definite answers provided by these respondents, each of them volunteered 11.9 times in the year past (Table 1.3). Meanwhile, the average number of hours they volunteered in the year past was 34.8 hours (Table 1.4). When asked to estimate how much each working hour was worth if the volunteer work they provided were to be done by paid workers of a private organization, the answer varied within a wide range from HK$0 to HK$3,000. The average figure was HK$76 per hour, and the median HK$30 per hour (Table 1.5).

 
 Table 1.3 - Number of Times Participated in Organized Volunteering over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in organized volunteering over the past 12 months) (Exact numbers) How many times have you participated in volunteering over the past 12 months?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 1 time 16  13.2%  1.0% 
 2 times 35  28.1%  2.3% 
 3 times 14  10.9%  0.9% 
 4 times 7.0%  0.6% 
 5 times 7.2%  0.6% 
 6 times 3.8%  0.3% 
 7 times 2.2%  0.2% 
 8 times 1.1%  0.1% 
 9 times 1.1%  0.1% 
 10 times 3.5%  0.3% 
 11 times or above 27  22.0%  1.7% 
 Total 124  100.0%   
 Mean 11.9     
 Standard error 2.41     
 Median 3.0     
 Maximum 208     
 Base 256     
 Missing case(s) (including 61 "forgotten") 132     
 
 Table 1.4 - Number of Hours Participated in Organized Volunteering over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in organized volunteering over the past 12 months) How many hours have you participated in volunteering over the past 12 months? (Exact numbers, but could be inferred from the no. of hours per week.)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 1 - 5 hours 31  24.9%  2.0% 
 6 - 10 hours 27  21.4%  1.7% 
 11 - 15 hours 11  8.7%  0.7% 
 16 - 20 hours 13  10.6%  0.8% 
 21 - 25 hours 4.8%  0.4% 
 26 -30 hours 11  8.6%  0.7% 
 31 hours or above 26  21.0%  1.7% 
 Total 124  100.0%   
 Mean 34.8     
 Standard error 6.42     
 Median 12.0     
 Maximum 600     
 Base 256     
 Missing case(s) (including 65 "forgotten") 132     
 
 Table 1.5 - Perceived Hourly Rate of Organized Volunteer Work
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in organized volunteering over the past 12 months) Assuming that the volunteer work that you provided over the past 12 months are to be done by paid workers of a private organization, how much do you think each working hour is worth? By this, we want to estimate the contribution made by volunteers in Hong Kong. (Exact numbers)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 $0 - 9 6.1%  0.4% 
 $10 - 19 13  12.8%  0.8% 
 $20 - 29 30  30.3%  1.9% 
 $30 - 39 15  15.4%  1.0% 
 $40 - 49 6.2%  0.4% 
 $50 - 59 12  12.5%  0.8% 
 $60 or above 17  16.7%  1.1% 
 Total 99  100.0%   
 Mean $76.3     
 Standard error $30.04     
 Median $30.0     
 Maximum $3,000     
 Base 256     
 Missing case(s) (including 92 "forgotten") 157     
 
 

1.1.4 When asked for what type of organization they have participated in organized volunteering, results showed that most of these volunteers participated in the volunteer work organized by educational organizations, religious bodies as well as social service organizations (each accounted for around 14% of total responses and mentioned by around 15% of the sub-sample, Table 1.6).

 
 Table 1.6 - Main Service Recipients over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in organized volunteering over the past 12 months) For which type of organization(s) have you participated in organized volunteering over the past 12 months? (Did not read out the answers, multiple responses up to 10, answers classified by interviewers)
  Frequency % of total responses(Base=167 responses from 154 respondents) % of total sample(Base=1,555)
 Educational organizations 24  14.4%  1.5% 
 Social service groups in school: students' association 16  9.5%  1.0% 
 Social service groups in school: parents-teachers' association 2.8%  0.3% 
 Alumni associations 1.8%  0.2% 
 Religious bodies 23  13.6%  1.5% 
 Social service organizations 22  13.3%  1.4% 
 Medical and health assn's / hospitals 16  9.9%  1.0% 
 District service organizations 16  9.6%  1.0% 
 District Committees 3.4%  0.4% 
 Kai Fong Associations 2.8%  0.3% 
 Owners' corporations 2.0%  0.2% 
 Mutual Aid Committees 1.4%  0.1% 
 Government departments 4.0%  0.5% 
 Agency for Volunteer Service 3.5%  0.4% 
 Uniform groups 2.9%  0.3% 
 Occupational unions 2.1%  0.2% 
 Recreational and cultural organ'ns 1.5%  0.1% 
 Clanship associations 1.0%  0.1% 
 Others (please specify) 21  12.5%  1.4% 
 Don't know / hard to say 21  12.3%  1.4% 
 Total 167  100.0%   
 Base 256     
 Missing case(s) 102     
 
 

1.1.5 Respondents were further asked what kind of volunteering service they had participated in. "Visiting" topped the list which accounted for 38% of these volunteers (i.e. 8% of the overall sample), and the second most popular service was associated with recreational activities (21%) while other services like "medical service", "fund raising activities", "counseling" and "clerical work" were each mentioned by less than 10% of these volunteers (Table 1.7).

 
 Table 1.7 - Nature of Volunteering Service Participated in
 
(Only ask those who have participated in organized volunteering before) What kind of volunteering service have you participated in? (Did not read out answers, multiple responses allowed)
  Frequency % of total responses(Base=425 responses from 334 respondents) % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Visiting 126  29.8% (37.7%)  8.1% 
 Recreational activities 70  16.6% (21.0%)  4.5% 
 Medical service 24  5.6% (7.2%)  1.5% 
 Fund raising activities 22  5.2% (6.6%)  1.4% 
 Counseling 19  4.5% (5.7%)  1.2% 
 Clerical work 17  4.1% (5.1%)  1.1% 
 Promotion and community-education 16  3.9% (4.8%)  1.0% 
 Baby-sitting / day care service 14  3.4% (4.2%)  0.9% 
 Labour work 14  3.3% (4.2%)  0.9% 
 Elderly care service 13  3.0% (3.9%)  0.8% 
 Homework tutoring 11  2.6% (3.3%)  0.7% 
 Housework assistance 11  2.6% (3.3%)  0.7% 
 Befriending service 11  2.5% (3.3%)  0.7% 
 Escorting service 2.1% (2.7%)  0.6% 
 Art and design 1.5% (1.8%)  0.4% 
 Survey service 1.0% (1.2%)  0.3% 
 Skill coaching 0.3% (0.3%)  0.1% 
 Editing and publishing service 0.3% (0.3%)  0.1% 
 Others (please specify) 23  5.3% (6.9%)  1.5% 
 Don't know/ hard to say 10  2.5% (3.0%)  0.6% 
 Total 425  100.0%    
 Base 348     
 Missing case(s) 14     
 

Figure in ( ) indicates corresponding % out of the sub-sample of this question, i.e.334 respondents.

 
 

1.1.6 In order to pave the way for promotional strategies, channels through which volunteers learned about volunteering were examined. Results showed that one-third (34%) of these volunteers learned it through their friends, another 19% learned it through their schools or teachers, 9% learned it through religious bodies, another 9% learned it through social service organizations (Table 1.8).

 
 Table 1.8 - Channels for Learning about Ways to Participate in Volunteering
 
(Only ask those who have participated in organized volunteering before) Through what channels do you learn about ways to participate in volunteering?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Referral by friends 103  34.0%  6.6% 
 Schools/ teachers 57  18.6%  3.7% 
 Referral by family members 11  3.7%  0.7% 
 Referral by relatives 2.1%  0.4% 
 Religious bodies 26  8.6%  1.7% 
 Social service organizations 26  8.5%  1.7% 
 Newspapers 10  3.3%  0.6% 
 Magazines 0.7%  0.1% 
 Radio 0.4%  0.1% 
 Television 0.3%  0.1% 
 Internet 0.8%  0.2% 
 Others (please specify) 47  15.4%  3.0% 
 Don't know / hard to say 11  3.5%  0.7% 
 Total 304  100.0%   
 Base 348     
 Missing case(s) 44     
 
 

1.1.7 As for the reasons why they participated in volunteer work, 40% of these volunteers claimed that they wanted to help others (i.e. 9% of the overall sample), 21% simply did it to kill time. Other reasons such as "to make friends", "to gain skills and knowledge" and "religion" were each mentioned by around 5% of these volunteers (Table 1.9).

 
 Table 1.9 - Reasons for Participating in Volunteer Work
 
(Only ask those who have participated in organized volunteering before) Why do you participate in volunteer work?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 To help others 134  40.0%  8.6% 
 To kill time 70  21.0%  4.5% 
 To make friends 19  5.7%  1.2% 
 To gain skills and knowledge 16  4.7%  1.0% 
 Religion 14  4.3%  0.9% 
 To gain work/social experience 13  3.8%  0.8% 
 Encouraged/influenced by others 12  3.5%  0.8% 
 Self-actualization 2.3%  0.5% 
 Citizen responsibility 1.3%  0.3% 
 To improve the community 0.8%  0.2% 
 Others (please specify) 34  10.1%  2.2% 
 Don't know / hard to say 2.7%  0.6% 
 Total 335  100.0%   
 Base 348     
 Missing case(s) 13     
 
 

1.1.8 On the other hand, opinion was split in regard to the needs for training before participating in volunteer work. Almost half of these respondents (47%) said it was necessary to receive training, as compared to 46% who thought it was unnecessary (Table 1.10).

 
 Table 1.10 - Need for Training before Participating in Volunteer Work
 
(Only ask those who have participated in organized volunteering before) Do you think it is necessary to receive training before participating in volunteer work?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Yes 164  47.1%  10.5% 
 No 160  45.9%  10.3% 
 Doesn't matter 24  6.9%  1.5% 
 Total 348  100.0%   
 Base 348     
 Missing case(s)    
 
 

1.2 Experience of Participating in Volunteer Work: Mutual Aid

 
 

The second part of the survey studied the general public's experience of participating in mutual aid, which is defined in this survey as "the spontaneous and self-initiated behaviors aiming to help others without planning in advance and would occur from time to time".

 
 

1.2.1 After a brief explanation on the meaning of mutual aid, more than half of the respondents (55%) claimed that they had participated in this kind of volunteer work before (donation excluded) while 44% said not (Table 1.11). Of those who had ever participated in mutual aid, most of them (42% of the sub-sample) had done it as recently as within last month while 60% (i.e. 32% of overall sample) participated within the year past. However, more than one-third (37%) of them had forgotten when they did it last time (Table 1.12).

 
 Table 1.11 - Experience of Participating in Mutual Aid
 
"Now, let me briefly explain the meaning of mutual aid. Simply speaking, mutual aid refers to the spontaneous behaviors aiming to help others that are not organized and would happen from time to time. For example, helping the elderly cross the roads, helping your elderly neighbor shop for daily necessity and taking care of neighbor's children." Using this definition, have you participated in any mutual aid excluding donation before today?
  Frequency Percentage
 Yes 859  55.3% 
 No 684  44.0% 
 Forgotten 12  0.7% 
 Total 1,555  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 Table 1.12 - Last Participation in Mutual Aid
 
(Only ask those who have participated in mutual aid before) When was the last time that you participated in mutual aid?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 <=1 month 352  41.8%  22.6% 
 <=2 months (but >1 month) 56  6.6%  3.6% 
 <=3 months (but > 2 months) 34  4.0%  2.2% 
 <=6 months (but > 3 months) 31  3.6%  2.0% 
 <=1 year (but > 6 months) 29  3.5%  1.9% 
 <=2 years (but > 1 year) 15  1.8%  1.0% 
 <=3 years (but > 2 years) 1.1%  0.6% 
 > 3 years (please specify) 0.8%  0.4% 
 Forgotten 311  36.9%  20.0% 
 Total 843  100.0%   
 Base 859     
 Missing case(s) 16     
 
 

1.2.2 Regarding the number of times they had participated in mutual aid, excluding those who were certain that they had not done it over the past 12 months, 40% reported that they had volunteered up to 3 times, while 15% had done it 20 times or more within one year's time. On average (265 definite answers), each volunteered 18.5 times over the past 12 months (Table 1.13). Moreover, from the total number of hours they reported, the average volunteer time per these volunteers was estimated to be 21.9 hours in the year past (Table 1.14). When asked to estimate how much each working hour was worth if the volunteer work they provided were to be done by paid workers of a private organization, the average figure was HK$32 per hour, and the median HK$30 per hour (Table 1.15).

 
 Table 1.13 - Number of Times Participated in Mutual Aid over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in mutual aid over the past 12 months) (Exact numbers) How many times have you participated in mutual aid over the past 12 months?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 1 time 16  6.2%  1.0% 
 2 times 42  15.8%  2.7% 
 3 times 48  18.3%  3.1% 
 4 times 25  9.6%  1.6% 
 5 times 20  7.4%  1.3% 
 6 times 2.8%  0.5% 
 7 times 1.3%  0.3% 
 8 times 3.0%  0.5% 
 9 times 0.0%  0.0% 
 10 times 29  10.8%  1.9% 
 11 - 19 times 27  10.2%  1.7% 
 20 times or above 39  14.6%  2.5% 
 Total 265  100.0%   
 Mean 18.5     
 Standard error 3.44     
 Median 5.0     
 Maximum 400     
 Base 829     
 Missing case(s) (including 527 "forgotten") 564     
 
 Table 1.14 - Number of Hours Participated in Mutual Aid over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in mutual aid over the past 12 months) How many hours have you participated in mutual aid over the past 12 months? (Exact numbers, but could be inferred from the no. of hours per week.)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 1 hour 52  30.6%  3.3% 
 2 hours 30  17.9%  1.9% 
 3 hours 12  7.4%  0.8% 
 4 hours 3.1%  0.3% 
 5 hours 4.5%  0.5% 
 6 - 10 hours 20  11.8%  1.3% 
 11 - 15 hours 12  6.9%  0.8% 
 16 hours or above 30  17.9%  1.9% 
 Total 170  100.0%   
 Mean 21.9     
 Standard error 6.61     
 Median 3.0     
 Maximum 730     
 Base 829     
 Missing case(s) (including 614 "forgotten") 659     
 
 Table 1.15 - Perceived Hourly Rate of Mutual Aid
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not participated in mutual aid over the past 12 months) Assuming that the volunteer work that you provided over the past 12 months are to be done by paid workers of a private organization, how much do you think each working hour is worth? By this, we want to estimate the contribution made by volunteers in Hong Kong. (Exact numbers)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 $0 - 9 37  12.7%  2.4% 
 $10 - 19 33  11.0%  2.1% 
 $20 - 29 70  23.7%  4.5% 
 $30 - 39 61  20.7%  3.9% 
 $40 - 49 26  8.8%  1.7% 
 $50 - 59 44  15.0%  2.8% 
 $60 or above 24  8.1%  1.5% 
 Total 296  100.0%   
 Mean $32.4     
 Standard error $1.83     
 Median $30.0     
 Maximum $300     
 Base 829     
 Missing case(s) (including 473 "forgotten") 533     
 
 

1.3 Intention and Reasons for Future Volunteering - Including Organized Volunteering and Mutual Aid

 
 Table 1.16 Experience of Participating in any form of Volunteering Service
 
  Frequency % of total sample(Base=1,555)
 Experience in organized volunteering only 348  22.4% 
Experience in mutual aid only  859  55.3% 
 Experience in EITHER organized volunteering or mutual aid 968  62.3% 
 No experience in any form of volunteering service 587  37.7% 
 
 

1.3.1 Regarding the current volunteers' intention to continue volunteering in the future (including organized volunteering and mutual aid), a 83% of them said they would, less than 10% of them said "no" (Table 1.17).

 
 Table 1.17 - Intention for Participating in Volunteering again
 
(Only ask those who have participated in volunteer work) Will you continue to volunteer in the future?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Yes 761  82.6%  48.9% 
 No 75  8.2%  4.8% 
 Don't know / hard to say 85  9.2%  5.5% 
 Total 921  100.0%   
 Base 968     
 Missing case(s) 47     
 
 

1.3.2 The main hindrance for those who said they would not continue to volunteer in the future (accounted for 8%; 75 respondents) was mainly due to the lack of time (73% of the sub-sample, 53 respondents), whereas "physically unfit" was mentioned by only a few (11% of the sub-sample, 8 respondents, Table 1.18).

 
 Table 1.18 - Reasons for not Volunteer in the future
 
(Only ask those who will not continue to volunteer in the future) Why not?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Lack of time 53  72.9%  3.4% 
 Physically unfit 10.7%  0.5% 
 No monetary returns 4.9%  0.3% 
 Forbidden by family 1.9%  0.1% 
 Not interested 1.3%  0.1% 
 Avoidance of the crowd 1.3%  0.1% 
 Others (please specify) 4.7%  0.2% 
 Don't know / hard to say 2.4%  0.1% 
 Total 72  100.0%   
 Base 74     
 Missing case(s)    
 
 

1.3.3 On the other hand, for respondents who did not volunteer in the past, their main reason was again the "lack of time" (64% of the sub-sample), followed by "physically unfit" (14% of the sub-sample) at a distance. In other words, time and physical conditions of the respondents were the main explicit barriers for volunteering (Table 1.19).

 
 Table 1.19 - Reasons for not Participating in Volunteer Work
 
(Only ask those who have never participated in volunteer work) Why don't you participate in volunteer work?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Lack of time 228  64.4%  14.7% 
 Physically unfit 49  13.8%  3.2% 
 Not interested 26  7.5%  1.7% 
 Not knowing the way to join 15  4.3%  1.0% 
 No monetary returns 2.0%  0.5% 
 Not knowing what it is about 0.8%  0.2% 
 Avoidance of the crowd 0.2%  0.1% 
 Don't know / hard to say 25  7.1%  1.6% 
 Total 354  100.0%   
 Base 587     
 Missing case(s) 233     
 
 

1.3.4 The same question on future intention was asked among those who have never participated in volunteer work before (587 respondents). It is found that less than half of these respondents (40%) would consider volunteering in the future as contrast to 83% among current volunteers (Table 1.20). Concerning their motive, two-thirds (66%) of these potential volunteers were driven by their desire to help others whilst 22% said they would do it to kill time (Table 1.21).

 
 Table 1.20 - Intention for Future Volunteering
 
(Only ask those who have never participated in volunteer work) Would you consider to volunteer in the future?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Yes 231  39.5%  14.9% 
 No 215  36.8%  13.8% 
 Don't know / hard to say 138  23.7%  8.9% 
 Total 584  100.0%   
 Base 587     
 Missing case(s)    
 
 Table 1.21 - Reasons for Future Participation in Volunteer Work
 
(Only ask those who would consider to volunteer in the future) Why?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 To help others 65  65.5%  4.2% 
 To kill time 22  21.8%  1.4% 
 To improve the community 3.2%  0.2% 
 To make friends 2.7%  0.2% 
 Citizen responsibility 2.6%  0.2% 
 Encouraged/influenced by others 1.6%  0.1% 
 To gain skills and knowledge 0.9%  0.1% 
 Don't know / hard to say 1.7%  0.1% 
 Total 99  100.0%   
 Base 231     
 Missing case(s) 132     
 
 

1.3.5 Apart from their personal experience, all respondents were then asked what they thought were the main reasons for people who participated in volunteering. By the same token, "to help others" topped the list which accounted for 72% of the overall sample, followed at a distance by the reasons "to serve the community" (33%) and "to kill time" (24%; Table 1.22).

 
 Table 1.22 - General Motivations for Other People who Participated in Volunteering
 
What do you think are the main reasons for those who participate in volunteering? (Read out answers, multiple responses allowed.)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 To help others 1,123  35.9%  72.2% 
 To serve the community 512  16.4%  32.9% 
 To kill time 366  11.7%  23.5% 
 To enrich knowledge 278  8.9%  17.9% 
 To make friends 257  8.2%  16.5% 
 To gain work/social experience 215  6.9%  13.8% 
 To reveal hidden potential 132  4.2%  8.5% 
 For self-promotion 30  1.0%  1.9% 
 Others (please specify) 46  1.5%  3.0% 
 Don't know / hard to say 167  5.4%  10.7% 
 Total 3,127  100.0%   
 Base 1,555     
 Missing case(s)    
 
 

1.3.6 On the other hand, they believed the most prominent reason for people not participating in volunteer work was because they could not afford the time (55%), and because volunteering could be troublesome (23%; Table 1.23).

 
 Table 1.23 - General Hindrances for People who do not Participate in Volunteering
 
What do you think are the main hindrances for those who do not volunteer? (Read out answers, multiple responses allowed)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 A waste of time/ lack of time 852  38.4%  54.8% 
 Troublesome / need to attend meetings 351  15.8%  22.6% 
 A waste of money 208  9.4%  13.4% 
 Inadequate publicity 187  8.4%  12.0% 
 Care less for homework/work 150  6.7%  9.6% 
 Care less for family 128  5.8%  8.2% 
 Not knowing what volunteer work is 102  4.6%  6.6% 
 Afraid of being exploited 76  3.4%  4.9% 
 Making bad friends 42  1.9%  2.7% 
 Being selfish 34  1.5%  2.2% 
 No monetary returns 20  0.9%  1.3% 
 Others (please specify) 69  3.1%  4.4% 
 Total 2,217  100.0%   
 Base 1,555     
 Missing case(s) 344     
 
 

1.4 Social Influence

 
 

1.4.1 According to the results of this survey, 59% of the general public had never encouraged others to participate in volunteering whilst two-thirds (68%) of them had never been encouraged by people around either (Tables 1.24 and 1.25). For those who had been encouraged to volunteer (502 respondents), the main source of that encouragement came from their friends (57%). The second most popular source was their schoolmates, accounting for 10%, while family members came third, accounting for 9% (Table 1.26).

 
 Table 1.24 - Experience of Encouraging Others to Participate in Volunteering
 
Have you ever encouraged others to participate in volunteering, which include organized volunteering and mutual aid?
  Frequency Percentage
 Yes 640  41.2% 
 No 915  58.8% 
 Total 1,555  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 Table 1.25 - Experience of being Encouraged to Participate in Volunteering
 
Have other people ever encouraged you to participate in volunteering?
  Frequency Percentage
 Yes 502  32.3% 
 No 1,053  67.7% 
 Total 1,555  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 Table 1.26 - Main Source of Encouragement
 
(Only ask those who have been encouraged to participate in volunteering) Then what is the main source of that encouragement?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 1,555)
 Friends 275  56.7%  17.7% 
 Schoolmates 46  9.6%  3.0% 
 Family members 42  8.7%  2.7% 
 Colleagues 34  7.1%  2.2% 
 Teachers 23  4.7%  1.5% 
 Relatives 15  3.1%  1.0% 
 Members in the religious body 11  2.2%  0.7% 
 Social workers 1.8%  0.6% 
 Neighbors 0.7%  0.3% 
 Others (please specify) 15  3.2%  1.0% 
 Don't know / hard to say 11  2.2%  0.7% 
 Total 484  100.0%   
 Base 502     
 Missing case(s) 18     
 
 

1.5 Evaluation of the Barriers and Expectations of Volunteering

 
 

The last part of the survey was aimed at evaluating the barriers to the local development of volunteering as well as people's expectations of volunteering.

 
 

1.5.1 Twenty-two percent of the respondents thought that the main barrier to the local development of volunteering (including organized volunteering and mutual aid) was people's lack of time. This result was very much consistent with the previous observations. Another 14% thought that the poor economic conditions these days was also an obstacle to the development of volunteering, while 10% blamed the lack of resources injected into this aspect. However, 29% of the respondents failed to give a definite answer (Table 1.27).

 
 Table 1.27 - Barriers to the Local Development of Volunteering
 
What do you think is the main barrier to the local development of volunteering (including organized volunteering and mutual aid) nowadays? (Did not read out answers, single response allowed)
  Frequency Percentage
 Lack of time of HK people 329  21.7% 
 Poor economic condition 208  13.8% 
 Lack of resources 152  10.0% 
 Lack of atmosphere for volunteering 87  5.8% 
 Lack of care for others of HK people 87  5.7% 
 Insufficient assistance from the government 48  3.2% 
 Insufficient promotion 46  3.0% 
 Influence of the mass media 32  2.1% 
 Insufficient civic education 14  0.9% 
 Non-respect for volunteers 0.4% 
 Others (please specify) 58  3.8% 
 Don't know / hard to say 449  29.6% 
 Total 1,516  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s) 39   
 
 

1.5.2 When further asked how to improve the situation, an even higher proportion of respondents (43%) did not have any idea. Suggestions provided by some of them included "to improve the economic conditions" (12%), "to inject more resources" (8%) and "to cultivate the atmosphere for volunteering" (7%; Table 1.28).

 
 Table 1.28 - Ways to Promote Local Volunteer Service
 
Then do you have any suggestion to improve the situation? (Did not read out answers, single response allowed)
  Frequency Percentage
 To improve the economic condition 183  12.0% 
 To inject more resources 116  7.6% 
 To cultivate the atmosphere for volunteering 104  6.8% 
 More promotion 96  6.3% 
 More governmental assistance 90  5.9% 
 To cultivate the care for others among HK people 90  5.9% 
 To improve the conduct of the mass media 57  3.8% 
 More civic education 36  2.3% 
 Better social welfare 26  1.7% 
 More compliments to the volunteers 21  1.4% 
 Others (please specify) 47  3.1% 
 Don't know / hard to say 656  43.1% 
 Total 1,521  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s) 34   
 
 

1.5.3 In their opinion, the development of local volunteering should most preferably be supported by the government (38%); although comparable amount of people believed that it should be the responsibilities of people in Hong Kong (26%) and non-government organizations (21%; Table 1.29).

 
 Table 1.29 - The Ideal Supporting Body for Developing Local Volunteering
 
In your opinion, the development of local volunteering should ideally be supported by….… (Read out the first three answers, single response allowed.)
  Frequency Percentage
 The government 580  37.7% 
 People in Hong Kong 393  25.6% 
 Non-government organizations 316  20.6% 
 All of the above 26  1.7% 
 Others (please specify) 32  2.1% 
 Don't know / hard to say 191  12.4% 
 Total 1,539  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s) 16   
 
 

1.5.4 Finally, more than half of the respondents (56%) in this survey described the social status of volunteers in Hong Kong as being respectable while 17% described their status as being non-essential and one-quarter (25%) failed to make a judgment by saying "don't know" (Table 1.30).

 
 Table 1.30 - Perceived Social Status of Volunteers in Hong Kong
 
How would you describe the social status of volunteers in Hong Kong?
  Frequency Percentage
 Respectable 867  56.2% 
 Non-essential 263  17.0% 
 Not respected 25  1.6% 
 Don't know / hard to say 387  25.1% 
 Total 1,543  100.0% 
 Base 1,555   
 Missing case(s) 12   
 
 

2 Stage Two: Quantitative Telephone Survey of the Service Recipients

 
 

2.1 Experience of Receiving Volunteering Service

 
 

The second survey was conducted with the volunteering service recipients right after the end of the first survey, from which a list of recipient organizations was complied based on the respondents' mentioning of organizations they had served. Additional contacts were also supplied by AVS, which were extracted from their Volunteer Referral Programme. The aim of this survey was to study organizations' experience of receiving volunteering service, their evaluation of existing volunteer provider agencies, their expectations when receiving volunteering service.

 
 

2.1.1 Results of this survey have shown that of the 204 organization representatives interviewed, all of them re-confirmed their organization or department had received volunteering service (Table 2.1). Four-fifths (81%) mentioned that the last time they received volunteering service was within one month. Meanwhile, a total of 96% of the respondents' organization had received volunteering service over the past 12 months (Table 2.2).

 
 Table 2.1 - Experience of Receiving Volunteering Service
 
Has your organization/department received any volunteering service before today?
  Frequency Percentage
 Yes 204  100.0% 
 Total 204  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 Table 2.2 - Last Receipt of Volunteering Service
 
When was the last time that you received volunteering service?
  Frequency Percentage
 <=1 month 165  80.9% 
 <=2 months (but >1 month) 2.9% 
 <=3 months (but > 2 months) 3.4% 
 <=6 months (but > 3 months) 4.4% 
 <=1 year (but > 6 months) 4.4% 
 <=2 years (but > 1 year) 0.5% 
 <=3 years (but > 2 years) 0.5% 
 Forgotten 2.9% 
 Total 204  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

2.1.2 With regards to the number of volunteers deployed by the respondents' organizations, excluding those who were certain that they had not received any volunteering service over the past 12 months, 53% of them (i.e. 39% of the overall sample) reported that they had deployed 50 or less volunteers, while 13% had deployed 50-100 and 34% had deployed more than 100 volunteers during the said period. Taking the average of all definite answers provided by these respondents, each of them deployed 237 volunteers in the year past (Table 2.3). As shown from Table 4, the average number of service hours each volunteer contributed in the year past was 25 hours. Meanwhile, more than half of this sub-sample (53%) reported that each volunteer volunteered 1 to 5 hours of service for them while another 14% said each volunteer had contributed 6 to 10 hours over the past 12 months (Table 2.4). The average number of volunteers deployed and the average service hours per volunteer are both much higher than their corresponding median figures, because they are affected by cases at the upper end of the scale with very large numbers.

 
 Table 2.3 - Number of Volunteers Deployed over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not received any volunteering service over the past 12 months) We would like to know the no. of hours of volunteering service your organization/department has received over the past 12 months. I would ask you about the no. of volunteers you have deployed and then the average no. of service hours each volunteer provided for you. First of all, how many volunteers has your organization deployed over the past 12 months? (exact number)
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 204)
 1 - 10 volunteers 18  12.2%  8.8% 
 11 - 20 volunteers 23  15.5%  11.3% 
 21 - 30 volunteers 16  10.8%  7.8% 
 31 - 40 volunteers 5.4%  3.9% 
 41 - 50 volunteers 14  9.5%  6.9% 
 51 - 100 volunteers 19  12.8%  9.3% 
 101 - 300 volunteers 25  16.9%  12.3% 
 301 - 600 volunteers 14  9.5%  6.9% 
 601 volunteers or above 11  7.4%  5.4% 
 Total 148  100.0%   
 Mean 237.3     
 Standard error 40.36     
 Median 50     
 Maximum 3,000     
 Base 202     
 Missing case(s) 54     
 
 Table 2.4 - Number of Service Hours Contributed by Each Volunteer over the past 12 months
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they have not received any volunteering service over the past 12 months) On average, how many service hours has each volunteer contributed over the past 12 months?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 204)
 1 - 5 hours 63  53.4%  30.9% 
 6 - 10 hours 16  13.6%  7.8% 
 11 - 15 hours 4.2%  2.5% 
 16 - 20 hours 5.1%  2.9% 
 21 - 40 hours 7.6%  3.9% 
 41 - 60 hours 6.8%  3.9% 
 61 - 100 hours 5.9%  3.4% 
 101 hours or above 3.4%  2.5% 
 Total 118  100.0%   
 Mean 25.0     
 Standard error 5.67     
 Median    
 Maximum 580     
 Base 202     
 Missing case(s) 84     
 
 

2.1.3 Results also show that the types of volunteering services their organization had received most often were, in descending order, "recreational activities" which accounted for 41% of the overall sample, "visiting" (35%), "clerical work" (20%), "promotional and community-education" (13%) and "escorting service" (12%). Other volunteering services such as "homework tutoring", "counseling", "skill coaching", "labour work", "baby-sitting / day care service", "art and design", "housework assistance" and "fund raising activities" were each mentioned by less than 10% of the overall sample (Table 2.5).

 
 Table 2.5 - Nature of Volunteering Service Received
 
What kind of volunteering service has your organization received? (Did not read out answers, multiple responses allowed)
  Frequency % of total responses(Base=469 responses from 202 respondents) % of total sample(Base = 204)
 Recreational activities 84  17.9%  41.2% 
 Visiting 71  15.1%  34.8% 
 Clerical work 40  8.5%  19.6% 
 Promotion and community-education 26  5.5%  12.7% 
 Escorting service 25  5.3%  12.3% 
 Homework tutoring 19  4.1%  9.3% 
 Counseling 18  3.8%  8.8% 
 Skill coaching 16  3.4%  7.8% 
 Labour work 16  3.4%  7.8% 
 Baby-sitting / day care service 13  2.8%  6.4% 
 Art and design 12  2.6%  5.9% 
 Housework assistance 12  2.6%  5.9% 
 Fund raising activities 11  2.3%  5.4% 
 Befriending service 10  2.1%  4.9% 
 Survey service 1.9%  4.4% 
 Medical service 1.9%  4.4% 
 Editing and publishing service 1.5%  3.4% 
 Elderly care service 0.4%  1.0% 
 Others (please specify) 68  14.5%  33.3% 
 Don't know / hard to say 0.2%  0.5% 
 Total 469  100.0%   
 Base 204     
 Missing case(s)    
 
 

2.1.4 When all respondents were asked to assess the performance of the volunteer provider agency with respect to their service arrangement, most of them (71%) felt satisfied whereas 8% were not. Also, 15% felt neither satisfied nor dissatisfied and a small number of them failed to give a comment. However, it is noteworthy that 54 respondents were not qualified to answer this question as their volunteer recruitment was not arranged by any volunteer provider agencies (Table 2.6).

 
 

2.1.5 On the other hand, respondents showed a higher level of satisfaction towards the performance of volunteers. A landslide majority of respondents (86%) replied either "very satisfied" or "quite satisfied" in contrast to only 1% who opted for "quite dissatisfied". It is encouraging to know that no one felt very dissatisfied with the volunteers and another one-tenth (10%) of them took a neutral stand by answering "half-half" (Table 2.7).

 
 

2.1.6 Regarding these organization representatives' intention to deploy volunteers in the future, practically every representative (99%) gave an affirmative answer, in contrast to only 1% who did not intend to deploy volunteers again because of no appropriate job for volunteers (Tables 2.8 and 2.10).

 
 Table 2.8 - Intention for Future Deployment of Volunteers
 
Would you deploy volunteers again / consider deploying volunteers in the future?
  Frequency Percentage
 Yes 201  98.5% 
 No 0.5% 
 Don't know / hard to say 1.0% 
 Total 204  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

2.1.7 As on the kind of volunteering service they would like to receive, the top 3 volunteering services mentioned were the same as those they had been receiving. Thirty-three percent of the overall sample mentioned "recreational activities" while 22% chose "visiting" and 17% "clerical work". Findings also suggested that their needs in different nature of volunteering services were met in general (making cross-reference with Table 2.5 on page 31 & Table 2.9 on page 34). "Skill coaching", "homework tutoring", "promotion and community-education", "labour work", "escorting service", "counseling", "medical service" and "baby-sitting / day care service" were each briefly mentioned (Table 2.9).

 
 Table 2.9 - Nature of Volunteering Service Needed
 
(Excluding those who are certain that they would not deploy volunteers again / consider deploying volunteers in the future) What kind of volunteering service would you like to receive? (Did not read out answers, multiple responses allowed)
  Frequency % of total responses(Base=385 responses from 202 respondents) % of total sample(Base = 204)
 Recreational activities 68  17.7%  33.3% 
 Visiting 45  11.7%  22.1% 
 Clerical work 35  9.1%  17.2% 
 Skill Coaching 16  4.2%  7.8% 
 Promotion and community-education 15  3.9%  7.4% 
 Labour work 13  3.4%  6.4% 
 Escorting service 12  3.1%  5.9% 
 Counseling 12  3.1%  5.9% 
 Medical service 2.3%  4.4% 
 Baby-sitting / Day care service 2.3%  4.4% 
 Befriending service 1.6%  2.9% 
 Survey service 1.6%  2.9% 
 Art and design 1.6%  2.9% 
 Housework assistance 1.6%  2.9% 
 Fund raising activities 1.6%  2.9% 
 Editing and publishing service 1.0%  2.0% 
 Others (please specify) 86  22.3%  42.2% 
 Don't know / hard to say 16  4.2%  7.8% 
 Total 385  100.0%   
 Base 204     
 Missing case(s)    
 
 Table 2.10 - Reasons for not Deploying Volunteers in the future
 
(Only ask those who would not deploy volunteers again / consider deploying volunteers in the future) Why not?
  Frequency Percentage % of total sample(Base = 204)
 No appropriate job for volunteers 100.0%  0.5% 
 Total 100.0%   
 Base    
 Missing case(s)    
 
 

2.2 Evaluation of Existing Volunteer Provider Agencies

 
 

In order to improve the services provided by the existing volunteer provider agencies, all respondents were asked to evaluate the existing volunteer provider agencies in terms of its ability to meet the needs of service recipients, its quality of management as well as its accessibility. Nevertheless, due to the fact that a proportion (a total of 54) of respondents did not have any personal experience with volunteering agencies, answers for Questions 10-13 provided by them were eventually eliminated from the final analysis to project a more accurate result.

 
 

2.2.1 As on whether the services provided by the existing volunteer provider agencies were adequate, 46% of the respondents replied either "very adequate" or "quite adequate". Nevertheless, there were still 25% who gave negative ratings, another 19% remained neutral and 11% of them were not able to make a judgment (Table 2.11).

 
 

2.2.2 These respondents were then asked to evaluate if the services provided by the existing volunteer provider agencies were able to meet their needs. Over half of them (55%) gave positive response whereas 13% expressed dissatisfaction by saying "not much". Nineteen percent of them took a neutral stand while around one-eighth (13%) could not comment on this aspect (Table 2.12).

 
 

2.2.3 On the other hand, nearly half of the respondents (47%) did not express their opinion towards the quality of management of the existing volunteer provider agencies. Even though there were still over a quarter of respondents (29%) who were satisfied with its management, the positive rating it received was the lowest amongst the four areas of concern being evaluated. Meanwhile, those who stated dissatisfaction and half-half constituted 6% and 18% respectively (Table 2.13).

 
 

2.2.4 Concerning the accessibility of the existing volunteer provider agencies, most of the respondents gave positive responses, 72% of them opted for either "very easy" (6%) or "quite easy" (66%). On the contrary, 12% gave negative answers. Another 10% remained neutral and 6% could not give a comment (Table 2.14).

 
 

2.3 Evaluation of the Barriers and Expectations of Receiving Volunteering Service

 
 

Apart from evaluating different areas of concern of the existing volunteer provider agencies, the next part of this survey was set out to assess the impact of the political and social environment on the local development of volunteering and to suggest ways to improve the situation.

 
 

2.3.1 Over fifty percent of respondents (58%) thought that the current government policies were encouraging the development of volunteering, in contrast to a small percentage of them (5%) who regarded the policies as hindering. Nevertheless, 22% remained neutral whilst 15% replied "don't know / hard to say" (Table 2.15).

 
 

2.3.2 By the same token, 57% of the respondents believed that the culture in Hong Kong nowadays was supportive of the development of volunteering as opposed to 15% who thought it was hindering. Another 22% held a neutral view while 5% of did not have any idea (Table 2.16).

 
 

2.3.3 Despite the positive evaluations with respect to the above two areas, respondents were asked to think of the main barrier to the local development of volunteering. "Lack of resources" was the most frequently cited answer, accounting for 25% of them. Another 17% mentioned "lack of time of Hong Kong people", and "poor economic conditions" constituted 13% of all respondents, another 13% were not able to give a definite answer (Table 2.17).

 
 Table 2.17 - Barriers to the Local Development of Volunteering
 
What do you think is the main barrier to the local development of volunteering nowadays? (Did not read out answers, single response allowed)
  Frequency Percentage
 Lack of resources 50  24.8% 
 Lack of time of HK people 34  16.8% 
 Poor economic conditions 27  13.4% 
 Lack of atmosphere for volunteering 21  10.4% 
 Insufficient promotion 4.5% 
 Insufficient training 3.5% 
 Lack of care for others of HK people 1.5% 
 Insufficient assistance from the government 1.5% 
 Influence of the mass media 0.5% 
 Others (please specify) 21  10.4% 
 Don't know / hard to say 26  12.9% 
 Total 202  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

2.3.4 Respondents were then asked to give suggestion on how to promote the local development of volunteering. "To inject more resources" topped the list and accounted for 20%, whilst 17% believed the government should provide more assistance to improve the current situation. Other suggestions, such as "to cultivate the atmosphere for volunteering", "to improve the economic conditions", "more compliments to the volunteers" and "more civic education", were each mentioned by less than one-tenth of the respondents. Around a quarter of them (23%) could not think of any suggestion (Table 2.18).

 
 Table 2.18 - Ways to Promote Local Volunteer Service
 
Then do you have any suggestion to improve the situation? (Did not read out answers, single response allowed)
  Frequency Percentage
 To inject more resources 39  19.6% 
 More governmental assistance 34  17.1% 
 To cultivate the atmosphere for volunteering 15  7.5% 
 To improve the economic conditions 14  7.0% 
 More compliments to the volunteers 4.5% 
 More civic education 4.0% 
 More promotion 3.5% 
 To cultivate the care for others among HK people 3.0% 
 More / improve training programmes 3.0% 
 To improve the conduct of the mass media 1.0% 
 Others (please specify) 13  6.5% 
 Don't know / hard to say 46  23.1% 
 Total 199  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

2.3.5 On who should the development of volunteering, results indicate that the government was considered the most preferred supporting body for developing local volunteering (32%), whereas a comparable amount of respondents thought that non-government organizations should take on the responsibility (28%). Only 11% of the respondents said people of Hong Kong should take this responsibility. A quarter of them (25%) believed that the development should most preferably be supported by all three parties (Table 2.19).

 
 Table 2.19 - The Most Preferred Supporting Body for Developing Local Volunteering
 
In your opinion, the development of local volunteering should most preferably be supported by….… (Read out the first three answers, single response allowed)
  Frequency Percentage
 The government 64  31.5% 
 Non-government organizations 56  27.6% 
 People in Hong Kong 23  11.3% 
 All of the above 51  25.1% 
 Others (please specify) 2.0% 
 Don't know / hard to say 2.5% 
 Total 203  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

2.3.6 Finally, respondents were asked to describe the social status of volunteers in Hong Kong. Results show that the majority of them (72%) considered volunteers in Hong Kong were being respected, 16% described their status as non-essential while only 2% believed they were not respected. However, 10% of them did not comment on this issue (Table 2.20).

 
 Table 2.20 - Perceived Social Status of Volunteers in Hong Kong
 
How would you describe the social status of volunteers in Hong Kong?
  Frequency Percentage
 Respectable 141  71.9% 
 Non-essential 31  15.8% 
 Not respected 2.0% 
 Don't know / hard to say 20  10.2% 
 Total 196  100.0% 
 Base 204   
 Missing case(s)  
 
 

3 Stage Three: Qualitative Focus group Studies

 
 

3.1 Views of Volunteers

 
 

In a nutshell, the qualitative opinions expressed by the volunteers who participated in this group discussion could be consolidated into the following key points:

 
 

3.1.1 Lack of time and poor economic conditions are simply excuses for not participating - Most participants (existing volunteers) believed that self-motivation was the most important determining factor for people to participate in volunteering. If someone were committed, economic conditions would not bring in any significant impact; only those without devotion would be distracted. After all, these were the most commonly used, and also most readily accepted, excuses of Hong Kong people.

 
 

3.1.2 Schools, business corporations, the elderly and new immigrant centers are all good entry points for promoting volunteerism - Admittedly, the recruitment of volunteers was not easy nowadays. To open up new channels, education institutions (primary, secondary and tertiary) were highly recommended by the participants, as it would be less difficult to mobilize a large group of people there. With the help of teachers and students' high sense of belongings, the effect would be very promising. Similar advantages could be enjoyed with other promotion bases, such as business firms, centers for teenagers, elderly and new immigrants.

 
 

3.1.3 Communication and mutual understanding with volunteers is important - To avoid disappointment and eventual drop out, many participants emphasized that organizations should pay efforts to understand the needs and expectations of each volunteer before the deployment. Clear explanation of the job nature was equally important as the lack of communication would easily lead to "mis-matches". More disastrously, some volunteers might feel that they were being exploited or taken advantage of, and they would never participate again.

 
 

3.1.4 Post-service follow-ups with volunteers are vital for achieving long-term involvement - "Once and for all" should be the least desirable outcome for all volunteer services. To overcome this hurdle, it was strongly recommended that organizations had better carry out some post-service evaluations with the volunteers, and preferably keep in touch with them on a regular basis. This would make the volunteers feel respected and being cared of, thus attaining their long-term commitment in return.

 
 

3.1.5 Adequate training will greatly enhance the success of volunteer services - It was generally agreed that training for both the organizers and individual volunteers were in need. Without proper training, the organizers might feel stranded when leading a service group while leaving a bad impression to the volunteers and the recipients. Besides, for certain types of service, training on some basic knowledge, skills and precautions should be delivered to the volunteers beforehand, otherwise, the overall quality of the service would be adversely affected. General guidelines, however, should always be provided to each volunteer in order to equip them, mentally and physically, for the forthcoming service.

 
 

3.1.6 Genuine support from government is indispensable - Concrete suggestions were given by the participants in how the government could help promoting volunteerism in Hong Kong. Examples included increasing the intensity and diversity of mass communication programs, granting non-paid leaves to those who participated in volunteer services (like in Japan), and injecting more resources. Though the contributions made by non-government organizations and citizens themselves were considered to be equally important, it was profoundly believed that continual and genuine support from the government was the key to success.

 
 

3.1.7 More civil education to instill positive values of volunteerism is needed - After all, the ideology related to volunteerism should be re-defined and re-communicated to the general public effectively so as to sweep out all the incorrect concepts, values, intentions, practices and even behaviors. Otherwise, people might end up struggling with mere numerical indicators, while failing to observe the true spirits of volunteerism.

 
 

3.2 Views of Service Recipients

 
 

In order to collect the opinions from a different perspective, a discussion group was held for the representatives from the recipient organizations. The qualitative opinions collected from the attended service recipients are consolidated into the following key points:

 
 

3.2.1 Insufficient time for preparation is commonly encountered - Most participants admitted that, very often, the preparation time for coordinating an activity was not enough (e.g. one week), hence resulting in insufficient supply of volunteers, plus other administrative problems. But no one should take the full blame for this. Situations would be further complicated when large numbers of volunteers were needed, and volunteer referral organizations were not easily accessible at times. So, there should be more joint efforts to smooth out the necessary procedures.

 
 

3.2.2 Demand for volunteer referral service seems diminishing - Except for the very first time, most recipient organizations admitted they would tend to interact directly with the volunteers who fit their specific requirements. Eventually, a personal network would be built up without relying on the referral mechanism. By this, "mis-matches" due to inadequate knowledge of the referred volunteers would be effectively eliminated and some screening procedures could be saved. These recipient organizations had also started their own recruitment exercise because they had a better understanding of their own needs and the volunteers would be more likely to have long-term commitment if they shared the same values and directions with the organization. That was why some participants believed the role of referral agencies would become blurred and diminished as time went by.

 
 

3.2.3 Regular training programs for potential and existing volunteers should be organized - To achieve a continual supply of quality volunteers, it was recommended that training programs on volunteering should be organized on a regular basis so as to attract more new comers and maintain the experienced pool. For the sake of cost effectiveness and expertise, a centralized body had better been selected to organize these training programs.

 
 

3.2.4 Minimal welfare and benefits are good for maintaining long-term commitment - As a widely accepted principle, volunteering should not involve any monetary return. However, under certain circumstances, it should be feasible to offer some welfare or benefits to the volunteers in return for their persistent contributions. For example, for those who volunteered in hospitals, priority cards or free medical consultation might be provided. Anything that did not bring along extra financial burdens of the organization would do. On a macro view, the government should further encourage volunteerism by putting forward some policies which could facilitate participation among the working class, such as "five days' work", "non-paid leave", and so on.

 
 

3.2.5 Development of a systematic volunteer database is called for - Due to resources constraint, most volunteer organizations were facing the problem of maintaining a user-friendly database which recorded each volunteer's profile, experiences, expectations, assessments, and other relevant information. Without such support, their current databases could become quite disorganized and hence cost them a lot of time to retrieve the desired information every time.

 
 

3.2.6 Schools of all levels are superlative bases for promoting volunteerism - In conjunction with the volunteer group, many service recipients saw the huge potential of school-based promotions. Moreover, the parents should also be mobilized to strengthen the bondage within a family by participating in volunteer activities.

 
 

3.2.7 Additional resources injected from government and all walks of life is needed - Beyond doubt, the local development of volunteerism could be greatly enhanced with more resources injected into the system. The contributor could well be the government, the public sector, the business sector or even individuals, while the form of contribution could be monetary, tangible or intangible. Above all, the ultimate goal should be to arouse the society's attention, interest, and eventually involvement in volunteering.

 
 

3.2.8 More research work should be done in order to comprehend the situation, to identify problems, and then move forward with clear directions - Up to date, professional researches conducted on the subject matter of volunteering were scarce, both locally and internationally. For instance, not much study was done on the local volunteer culture, the importance of recognition given to volunteers, and so on. Therefore, in parallel to public education, more research work should be carried out to analyse the current situations, challenges and hindrances such that the future directions could be formulated with a higher level of intelligence.

 


本網站內一切內容與香港大學立場無關。民意專欄內的文章及民意平台內的言論及法律責任由作者自負,其餘內容則由民意研究計劃總監鍾庭耀博士負責。網站所載資料,包括問卷提問方式及各份研究報告,除非特別註明,知識產權皆由香港大學民意研究計劃擁有後,透過本網站向外全面開放。各界人士使用有關資料時,敬請註明出處。

香港大學民意研究計劃版權所有。 本網站由[email protected] 製作。最後更新 :  30/12/2011