28 March 2018

Often labelled the ‘selfie generation’, new research released today by NRMA Insurance reveals that Millennials and Gen Y are in fact among the most helpful and community-minded in the country.

The NRMA Insurance HELP Study1 surveyed more than 2,000 people and found that the vast majority of Australians are committed to helping others, with three quarters giving up their time to help their community (74%) and almost half formally volunteering in their community (41%).

However, a surprise finding is that young people (18-34) are the demographic more likely to sacrifice their time to help others (80%) or volunteer with a community organisation (43%). The research found:

  • Young people are more likely to say that they give back because it makes them ‘feel good’ (54% compared to 41% on average) and because they want to make a difference (36% compared to 34% on average)
  • Young people are more likely to volunteer through sporting clubs or environmental groups (23% and 15% respectively).

NRMA Insurance Executive General Manager Shared Value, Ramana James said “While Millennials are often perceived as fickle or entitled, the reality is quite different. Young people are well connected, open-minded and have the energy and optimism needed to make a difference.”

“Help is who we are as Australians. We give people a hand up when they need it and we roll up our sleeves when things get tough. It’s reassuring to see that this spirit of ‘help’ is alive and well among those who are the future of Australia.”

The NRMA Insurance HELP Study also asked people about how they feel about their community and the challenges faced in helping others. The findings showed:

  • Those who volunteer (78%) are more likely to feel like they belong in their community (compared to 65% on average)
  • 80% of volunteers say their community is ‘close-knit’ or comes together in tough times (compared to 70% on average)
  • Work commitments (36%), ‘busyness’ (31%) and the out of pocket expenses involved (25%) are the biggest barriers for helping others or volunteering. Health and physical issues (20%) and ‘not knowing where to start’ (17%) are also key challenges
  • Nearly half of those surveyed believe their community is friendlier than it used to be (42%). However, for those who feel their community has become less friendly, the main reasons are ‘people are too busy’ (61%) ‘a lack of trust’ (55%) and ‘technology and social media’ (45%).

“It’s not always easy to find the time to volunteer and give back, but for those who do, the rewards are great. Not only are you helping others, but you are helping make your community stronger and more connected.

“We think it’s important for people to remember that every little bit of help counts. Taking a few minutes out of your day to help a neighbour maintaining their property, or help a local community organisation with a project can make a real difference,” said James.

From scaling support in disaster events to road safety advocacy, NRMA Insurance has been proudly helping its customers get back on their feet for almost 100 years. NRMA Insurance has released a new sixty second film celebrating the Australian spirit of help which can be viewed on the NRMA Insurance YouTube channel.

1 Survey of 2,018 people (NSW/QLD residents) conducted by PureProfile on behalf of NRMA Insurance in March 2018.

Media hotline number: 02 9292 9742.