The German Survey on Volunteering (FWS) is a representative survey of voluntary activities of persons aged 14 and older in Germany. Volunteering and the willingness to volunteer are recorded through telephone interviews and can be reported and described among population groups and across regions. Additionally, volunteers as well as former volunteers and other persons who do not volunteer can be studied. The survey is thus a basic instrument for social accounting on volunteering and is funded by the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ).

The first three waves of the Survey on Volunteering were recorded in 1999, 2004 and 2009. Since December 2011 it is scientifically managed and supervised by the German Centre of Gerontology (DZA). The interviews of the fourth wave were conducted by infas – Institute for Applied Social Sciences in 2014. The interviews for the fifth wave of the Survey on Volunteering will be conducted in 2019.

The questionnaire of the German Survey on Volunteering 2014 has been extended to cover changing and new types of volunteering as well as its contexts and differences between volunteers and non-volunteers.

The data of the surveys as well as documentation material are available for users for scientific research at the Research Data Centre of the DZA.

The report "Freiwilliges Engagement in Deutschland - Der Deutsche Freiwilligensurvey 2014" (Volunteering in Germany - The German Survey on Volunteering 2014) is available open access (in German) at Springer VS, as well as the appendix of tables.

A short version of the findings is available here (in English).

Project Team and Contact

The following staff members from the DZA are involved in the survey (FWS):