IÂ can’t afford a subscription to The Chronicle of Philanthropy to read theÂ latest study about giving to the poor, but I’m not surprised that it concludesÂ ”Many donors say they want to support charities that help the nationâ€™s most vulnerable citizens, but their giving patterns donâ€™t support that goal,” since many people say that they want to help the homeless, for example, but then these same people are uninterested in volunteering to help this population.
Volunteering in direct service gives participants first-hand experience in shelters and other programs that serve the needy. These experiences, while short of actually personally utilizing these services, make lasting impressions on PMD volunteers.
Our younger volunteers have even gone so far as to tell us that they think that everyone should have the awareness-building experience of volunteering in a shelter, despite the obvious greater issue of eliminating the need for homeless shelters.
And while many people will decide to try to help the needy in more ways than direct service volunteering, I think that their early experiences do shape and influence how they do so, whether by voting choices, personal and corporate philanthropy, etc.