January 22, 2013
How does religion affect an individual’s likelihood of volunteering for social change causes? This study reports on findings from an analysis of the 2005 wave of the COPPS supplement to the PSID to examine the effects of religious tradition (affiliation) and religious attendance (religiosity) on social change volunteering. We find that adherents to the more liberal Christian denominations — mainline Protestant and Catholic — are more likely to volunteer with social change organizations than are Evangelicals. We also find that adherents to other minority religions such as Judaism and Buddhism and individuals with no religious belief are all more likely to volunteer with social change organizations than are Evangelicals. We find a positive and significant relationship between religious attendance and social change volunteering, but find little difference in the effect of religious attendance on social change volunteering between Evangelicals and other religious traditions (except for Catholics).