Infotech How “tele-volunteering” helped limit the drop in the number of volunteers after the Covid-19 crisis

How “tele-volunteering” helped limit the drop in the number of volunteers after the Covid-19 crisis

The Covid-19 crisis has led to a drop of around 15% in the number of volunteers engaged in the voluntary sector, a drop however less than initially feared, in particular thanks to the use of “tele-volunteering”, according to an Ifop survey published on Thursday. May 12.

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During the health crisis, in 2020 and 2021, 27% of volunteers ceased their commitment, but these departures were partly offset by the arrival of new volunteers who “decided to engage on the occasion of the pandemic”according to this study carried out every three years on behalf of France Bénévolat and the Research and Solidarity (R&S) network of experts and academics.

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In the end, the proportion of French people who “give their time for others” within an association fell from 24% in 2019 to 20% in 2022, a drop of 15%, Jacques Malet, president of R&S, told AFP. “These figures almost happily surprised us, given the feedback from the field that seemed catastrophic. In the end, the damage was limited”observed Jacques Malet.

60% of volunteers do “tele-volunteering”

The digital has “played an essential role from this point of view” by allowing “keep the link” between the associative actors and “offer alternative activities” : “tele-volunteering” is practiced by 60% of volunteers.

Practicable in the “school support, telephone reception, accounting, communication”this type of commitment is well experienced “provided that we do not lose sight of conviviality”and can allow people with reduced mobility or isolated in rural areas, for example, to also feel useful, underlines Jacques Malet.

The world of voluntary work is also marked by a “associative fracture”underline the authors of the study: 56% of university graduates belong to an association, against only 22% of people without any diploma.

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“It’s a shame, because precisely in the associations we do not ask for a diploma to get involved”, commented Jacques Malet. And “for people with social difficulties, […] it could be a new chance”.

Ifop survey conducted in January from a representative national sample of 3,155 people, supplemented by a questionnaire administered by R&S to 4,395 volunteers.

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