There is a great deal of science and research showing that acts of altruism increase our happiness. Put simply, doing something for someone else increases our own sense of self esteem and gives us a feeling of connection and worth regarding our community.
So go ahead, use the data from your Values survey to volunteer in your community. Our hope is that the insights gained in tracking your surveys may help provide a direction for where you choose to get involved. But we’re less concerned about validating our hypothesis along these lines than providing specific, actionable options for you to utilize your skills and increase your well-being in your community.
Now that you’ve identified areas of your life you may want to focus more time on, VolunteerMatch can help you find specific opportunities in your community to do just that, for free. Here’s how:
Visit our unique page on VolunteerMatch.org Register (or login once you’ve registered) with VolunteerMatch Enter in profile information and click on interest areas that appeal to you, based on your skills or values VolunteerMatch will then make customized recommendations on possible opportunities in your community.
Connect Happiness to Action
Our hypothesis (and hope) is if you choose a volunteer area based on your values (where your results show that living to that value successfully increased your happiness), your happiness or well-being should increase.
If you’d like to connect your Values to volunteering, then here’s a few more steps to consider. Below is a comparison of VolunteerMatch Interest areas matched with Values from the H(app)athon Survey.
VolunteerMatch Cause Areas
Matching Values H(app)athon Survey
arts & culture
Education, art, culture
children & youth
Education, art, culture
Community, homeless & housing, hunger
emergency & safety
health & medicine
justice & legal
media & broadcasting
race & ethnicity
Sports & recreation
If you decide to volunteer via VolunteerMatch, we’d love to hear if you felt using the Values survey helped. Eventually we’re hoping to streamline things so that we can automatically suggest volunteer opportunities to you, and learn how you’re increasing your happiness.
For questions about VolunteerMatch, feel free to contact support AT volunteermatch DOT org.
If you have any questions about the study or want to find out more about the project, please feel free to contact John C. Havens, Founder/ Executive Director of the H(app)athon Project (email: john AT happathon DOT com) or Dr. Margaret Kern (email:mkern AT sas DOT upenn DOT edu).