Adult volunteering participation in 2020

The SHS data provides a fascinating insight into the impact of COVID-19 on volunteering participation during 2020 and how it has changed since 2018. A number of demographic fields have also been cross-tabulated with formal and informal volunteering.

  • The adult total volunteering participation rate in Scotland increased from 48% in 2018 to 64% in 2020, a 16% increase.
  • However, the formal volunteering participation rate was unchanged at 26% in 2020; a figure which has remained constant for the last three years.
  • In contrast, informal volunteering participation increased by 20%, from 36% in 2018 to 56% in 2020.
  • All  types of informal volunteering activities increased in 2020, the largest increases being:

    • The 51% increase in ‘Keeping in touch with someone who is at risk of being lonely’, up from 18% in 2018 to 69% in 2020; and
    • The 39% increase in ‘Doing shopping, collecting pensions, collecting benefits or paying bills’, up from 12% in 2018 to 51% in 2020.

View findings as PDF here