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 2014 and the fifth wave 2019 were conducted by infas – Institute for Applied Social Sciences in 2014.
The data of the surveys 1999, 2004, 2009 and 2014 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).
Due to the Coronavirus crisis there has been a change in the timing of the publication of the German Survey on Volunteering 2019. First results of the German Survey on Volunteering 2019 in form of a short report are now expected to be published in early 2021. The main report is scheduled for summer 2021.
The data of the German Survey on Volunteering 2019 will be made available for scientific research as a Scientific Use File - SUF via the Research Data Centre of the DZA. First, a data set containing the indicators of the short report will be published (after publication of the short report). Later the complete data set will be published (after publication of the main report).
Project Team and Contact
The following staff members from the DZA are involved in the survey (FWS):
- Dr. Julia Simonson (Pl, project director)
- Prof. Dr. Clemens Tesch-Römer (Pl)
- Dr. Nadiya Kelle (deputy project director)
- Corinna Kausmann, M.A. Soz.
- Nora Karnick, M.A. Soz.
- Céline Arriagada, M.A. Soz.
- Dipl.-Soz. Nicole Hameister
- Dr. Oliver Huxhold
- Dr. Christine Hagen
- Eileen Jahnke (research assistant)
- Stefanie Hartmann (research assistant)
- Lisa Klasen (student assistant)
- Marlen Drewitz (student assistant)
- Margret Decker (student assistant)