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From 1998 through 2005 there was an incredible volunteer spirit that drove the formation of the RRDi. Since 2005 the force that motivated so many to bring together rosacea sufferers into a non profit organization has dwindled to just a flickering wick. Why is it that rosaceans (rosacea sufferers) don't volunteer anymore?  Andy Seth, an entrepreneur, has a blog post, The Way We Think About Volunteering Is Dead Wrong, states, "research shows that the happiest volunteers are those who give 2 hours per week. That’s it. 2 hours."  

If the RRDi could get any rosacean to volunteer 2 hours a weeks, that would be miraculous. Are there volunteers who actually volunteer that many hours a week? There must be, otherwise the study is bogus. If we could get any RRDi member to just post their thought or experience with rosacea for 15 minutes a week that would be incredible. We have dotted the RRDi forum with requests to RRDi members to simply post anything and the 1200 plus members as of this date are simply miniscule when it comes to posting. Getting our members to post is a challenge. If you have some insight how to get our members to post, we are all ears. You can reply to this post and comment to your heart's content. Of course, that is the issue, the RRDi members' hearts are not content to post. Why is that?

The research Mr. Seth referred to may have been the study commented on by the American Psychological Association that reports, "Volunteers lived longer than people who didn't volunteer if they reported altruistic values or a desire for social connections as the main reasons for wanting to volunteer, according to the study." This same study, Andrea Fuhrel-Forbis, the co-author concludes: 

"It is reasonable for people to volunteer in part because of benefits to the self; however, our research implies that should these benefits to the self become the main motive for volunteering, they may not see those benefits." 

One of the benefits is what is called 'helper's high' which has been scientifically confirmed. [1] Of course, if a RRDi member who has rosacea helps another rosacea sufferer that would be the basis for receiving the 'helper's high.' Rosaceans supporting rosaceans. 

In trying to understand why volunteering amongst rosaceans has continued on this downward course, and googling this for an answer, The Guardian has an article about this subject and concluded, "But while the benefits of volunteering are clear, there is worrying evidence that the people who could benefit most from giving their time are precisely those least likely to be involved." 

Volunteer Match (which the RRDi has joined) has an article on this subject and states that the Bureau of Labor Statistics Report shows "that volunteer rates have been steadily declining for over a decade," [2] and comments, "There’s an endless supply of reasons that could explain why volunteer rates are falling. Last year, upon seeing the results, VolunteerMatch President Greg Baldwin argued that volunteer rates are falling because we as a nation don’t invest enough resources in the nonprofit sector. Without resources, nonprofits simply don’t have the capacity to effectively engage volunteers. Someone in the comments of that post argued that "the falling rates can be attributed to the fact that more people are overworked with less time on their hands. Others say people are simply lazier than they used to be. I personally think it could be attributed to a shifting trend away from community involvement, due to the emergence of online communities, young people moving more often, and other factors." [3]

In the above article mentioned [3] there are a number of comments and I think Ron from Florida's [April 16, 2016] comment is insightful: 
"When I was younger, volunteering and giving back was part of life. It was something that we did and didn’t think twice about it. I don’t see that same philosophy these days. It’s to the point that schools here require some level of community service to complete your graduation requirements."

Stem Learning reports, "It is suggested that stagnating volunteer numbers and in some areas, reducing numbers of volunteers, along with cuts made by local authorities falling disproportionately upon the volunteering sector funding, suggests a potential fall in people volunteering per se. Furthermore the 2015/16 Community Life survey, highlighted 14.2 million people formally volunteered at least once a month in 2014/15 and although rates are mostly unchanged, it appears irregular volunteering appear to show a 5% drop!"

Carey Nieuwhof lists 6 REASONS YOU'RE LOSING HIGH CAPACITY VOLUNTEERS. I don't see how those six reasons are related to the RRDi, but I am all ears to anyone who can point out to me what the RRDi isn't doing or doing with regard to Carey's six reasons that we could improve. Our page on volunteering covers most of what Carey is discussing. 

Without a doubt this explains the situation. Any thoughts on this subject would be much appreciated. 

Online Volunteering

Dr. Natalie Hruska says that the studies indicating a drop in volunteering over the past decade "do not factor in kinds of volunteerism today, like virtual volunteering" and writes there is "a necessity to redefine what volunteerism is and how we understand it today." [4]

Volunteering Statistics

"About 25 percent of Americans volunteered in 2015, according to federal data, compared to a global average of just 10 percent." [5]

"The volunteering rate has declined slightly from 27 percent in 2002 despite the efforts of many American leaders..." [5]

A Long and Winding Road

Volunteering for the RRDi to help fellow rosaceans is a long and winding road that leads to your door, which is without a doubt, the most difficult door to open. Can you open that door and join us to find the cure for rosacea?  

End Notes

[1] Helper's High: The Benefits (and Risks) of Altruism, Psychology Today

[2] According to the 2015 report, 24.9% of the U.S. population over the age of 16 volunteered at least once in the past year. In 2011, this percentage was 26.8%, and in 2005 it was 28.8%. 

"The volunteer rate declined by 0.4 percentage point to 24.9 percent for the year ending in September 2015..."
VOLUNTEERING IN THE UNITED STATES — 2015, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Thursday, February 25, 2016

[3] The U.S. Volunteer Rate Is Still Dropping. Why?, Tess Srebro | March 25, 2016 | Industry Research | Engaging Volunteers, Volunteer Match

[4] Dr. Natalie Hruska, April 12, 2016 POST to the article in end note 2. Dr. Hruska has a video below that discusses online volunteering: 

Dr. Hruska has written a book on this subject, Managing the First Global Technology: Reflections on a relevant application of the Internet, in Kindle or Paperback

[5] How to get more Americans to volunteer, The Conversation

Civil society organization workforce as a share of the economically active population, by country, 1995-2000, John Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies

[6]

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