Microdata of the fourth survey year in 2014 comprise information of 28,690 participants. The method of the survey was a computer-assisted telephone interview (CATI). Most interviews were conducted in German, but for the first time in the history of the survey, interviewers offered the opportunity to communicate in one of five other languages (Russian, Turkish, Polish, Arabian, English). The interviews were carried out between April and November 2014 and took 30 minutes on average.

Compared to earlier waves, the drawing of the sample was expanded: Additional to a landline sample, a mobile phone sample has been drawn as well. Small federal states (Bundesländer) were oversampled to enable separate analyses of the states. The drawing of the phone numbers was based on - regionally stratified - pools of synthetically generated phone numbers. The weighted sample represents the resident population aged 14 years and older of Germany.

The FWS 2014 included more topics and survey questions than the preceding waves. Questions to central topics remained unchanged. This allows to compare results of every survey year. An overview of the survey content for all four waves is given in the List of Variable Correspondence.  Participants were asked for information on the following topics:

  • Memberships and activities in general
  • Volunteering
  • Civilian public service
  • Most time consuming voluntary activity
  • Context of volunteering
  • Willingness to volunteer
  • Donations
  • Informal social support apart from volunteering
  • Background information about the person

Further information on methods, topics and variables of the survey can be found in the documentation and on the web pages of the research project German Survey on Volunteering.

For reasons of data protection, the factually anonymised data sets can only be provided after signing a data distribution contract. FWS data is available free of charge to scientific researchers for non-profitable purposes only and requires written permission of the data distributor (FDZ-DZA). The form to apply for the use of FWS-data can be found here: application form.