Volunteering and Charitable Giving: Do Religious and Associational Ties Promote Helping Behavior?

Jackson, E.; Bachmeier, M.; Wood, J.; & Craft, E. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly

Most research on helping behavior has concentrated on situational and personality effects on the decision to provide emergency aid; less work has dealt with social determinants of common, nonemergency helping. We investigated the effects of religious and associational ties on secular volunteering and charitable giving in a sample of 800 Indiana residents. We found that belonging to a range of voluntary associations increases volunteering and giving. Participation in church groups also increases both forms of secular helping, but attending church does not.