67 per cent want to volunteer, 57 per cent cite lack of time, yet research shows one hour a week can change lives
VANCOUVER, April 12, 2012 /CNW/ - British Columbians fall short on their good intentions to volunteer, however new research reveals a volunteering myth that could change all that, according to the Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland, the non-profit organization that pairs girls with women who can offer guidance and support.
Kicking off National Volunteer Week (April 15-21, 2012), The Volunteering Habits of Canadians Omnibus study by Vision Critical reveals that while 67 per cent of British Columbians say they would like to volunteer their spare time to a non-profit organization, the majority continue to cite lack of time as a barrier for not volunteering.
"We really want people to know that it takes less time than you think to change a life," says Lisa Cloutier, director of operations and communications, Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland. "As little as one to two hours a week is all it takes to be a volunteer and to make a real difference in a young girl's life."
In fact, 94 per cent of British Columbians agree with Cloutier, saying they believe that one to two hours a week with a child can indeed make a difference in their lives. Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland recommends volunteering anywhere from one to four hours per week as a Big Sister or Study Buddy tutor.
"The study is a wonderful indicator that British Columbians have the right intentions in mind and despite their busy lives, want to give back," explains Cloutier. "Now, we just want to inspire them to come into our offices, so we can pair them with some of our amazing, bright young women - right now, we have 125 girls waiting to be matched with a volunteer mentor."
The Volunteering Habits of Canadians study findings have been released to coincide with the launch of Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland's new Public Service Announcement (PSA) campaign across British Columbia's Lower Mainland designed to recruit women to volunteer for Big Sisters.
"The intention of the PSA campaign is to dispel that misconception held by many women, that being a Big Sister requires too much of a time commitment," says Cloutier.
Developed pro bono by DDB Canada's Vancouver office, the integrated PSA campaign features playful TV, radio, and print creative, supported by social media and PR, which accurately demonstrate that "Being a Big Sister takes less time than you think." Lisa Chen-Wing, a mother and an art director, who is a Big Sister Study Buddy herself, brought the idea to fruition.
"Here is a mother who's managing to raise her own child while pursuing a career in an unquestionably demanding industry, and yet she still finds time to volunteer. That's an admirable story that needs to be told," says Dean Lee, creative director, DDB Canada Vancouver. "We just kept thinking if she can do it, there is no excuse why others can't."
To demonstrate how little time it takes to make a difference in a girl's life, DDB Canada created the shortest messages possible in any given media: seven second TV ads, five second radio ads, Tweets and small space print ads. The ads are just long enough to feature a Big Sister giving a young girl advice, reinforcing the fact that being a Big Sister may take less time than you think.
Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland depends on the volunteer efforts of the community to help provide young girls, ages 7-17, with positive, female role models who help the girls build self-esteem with their support and friendship.
"I would ask women across BC to think about a time when you were struggling through one of life's many hurdles; now think about having to do it all by yourself with no one to talk to or to guide you in the right direction," adds Cloutier. "Sadly, this is the reality many of our girls face today, and we're asking fellow Lower Mainland women to help us change this."
In addition to Vision Critical donating the national Omnibus study, DDB Canada developed the multi-media PSA campaign for Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland pro bono in collaboration and with generous donation from the following partners: Family Style Productions, Griffiths, Gibson, & Ramsay Productions, JMB Post and Mann Casting.
From March 9th to March 10th 2012, an online survey was conducted among a sample of 1001 Canadians who are Angus Reid Forum panel members. The margin of error — which measures sampling variability — is +/- 3.09%, 19 times out of 20. The sample was balanced by age, gender and region according to the most recent census data. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.
About Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland:
Big Sisters of BC Lower Mainland is a non-profit organization that has been providing mentoring programs to girls in Lower Mainland communities since 1960. They are committed to enhancing the confidence, self-esteem, and well being of young girls through supportive relationships with female mentors.
About DDB Canada:
DDB Canada is the most creatively acclaimed, internationally recognized marketing communications agency in Canada. Known for advertising that generates significant results for clients, DDB Canada is a "total communications company" whose fundamental belief is that creativity is the most powerful force in business. DDB Canada has offices in Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. The agency's integrated groups include: DDB Kid Think (youth marketing), DDB Public Relations, Tribal DDB (digital), Karacters Design Group, Rapp Canada (direct), Radar DDB (social media), DDB Hodes Recruitment Communications (recruitment marketing) and Shopper DDB (shopper marketing).
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