2. Voluntary Activities
Volunteering is highly valued in Austria and seen as a meaningful way to contribute to society. According to the latest Volunteer Report (Freiwilligenbericht 2019) published by the former Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection in 2019, 46% of people aged 15 and over participate in volunteering. This high participation rate is observed across all age groups. 43% of young people under 30 are involved in formal or informal volunteering, and around 43% of those aged 15-24 are also active in the non-profit sector. About three out of ten are active in organisations and about a quarter help their neighbourhood in addition to their regular volunteering.
To promote volunteering, the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection (Bundesministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Konsumentenschutz) ensures attractive framework conditions. The legal basis is provided by the Federal Act on the Promotion of Volunteering/Volunteering Act (Bundesgesetz zur Förderung von freiwilligem Engagement/Freiwilligengesetz). It regulates, among other things, programmes such as the Voluntary Social Year, the Environmental Protection Year and the Memmorial Service and Peace and Social Service Abroad. The Act entered into force in 2012 and was last amended in 2018.
The Freiwilligenweb Website (German only) by the Federal Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and Consumer Protection provides all relevant information to (prospective) volunteers.