American teenagers have proven that peer pressure isn’t all bad. After a recent study, found that half of American teenagers volunteer largely because their friends do.

We used to believe that the cause itself was the ultimate motivator to engage new volunteers. You feel strongly about an issue, let’s say hunger, for instance. On your own, you would find a neighborhood food bank and spend your service time there. According to the findings, this trend has shifted.

More recently, teens are using volunteer work as an ability for social interaction-- and what an awesome concept that is. ‘Work’ no longer has a wearisome stigma attached. Volunteers can look forward to their job knowing they will have fun serving alongside their friends, no matter the cause. Organizations are able to double their numbers just by asking already registered volunteers to bring a friend to the event.

The age old problem of searching for people to volunteer has lessened due to teenagers’ actions. Teens are willing to volunteer and are doing so in large numbers (23 million to be exact). Now, we beg the question: how do we get them to keep coming back?

Volunteer retention is another priority after acquiring enough volunteers in the first place. When you brag about your volunteer work, you remind others of the good deeds you and friends are doing. Everyone that ‘liked’ your post or commented on how admirable your work is now holds you and whoever else accountable to continue serving. As long as people are sharing their stories with friends, the issue of retention could vanish.

Never stop telling your stories of service and getting your friends to engage in volunteering with you. As the teenagers have taught us, it is all of us and our friends that make it possible for organizations to continue their powerful work.

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