A new national poll conducted by the Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (Mass Mutual) indicates that Americans who are “involved” in their communities not only find it personally gratifying, but financially rewarding as well, with almost seven in 10 or 69% saying that “community involvement” is important to their overall “well-being.”
Conducted online using a nationally representative sample of 10,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and above, nearly all of those polled (95%) said they are involved in at least one community, with most “involved” via family (86%), friend groups (65%) or neighborhood (50%). Those who place a premium on community involvement have unexpected benefits, with approximately six in 10 being either comfortable or confident in their current and future financial well-being. A majority also report that community participation improves their social (88%) and family lives (82%) as well, according to the poll.
Interestingly, Americans do not share the same definition of community, Mass Mutual’s survey found, as respondents defined community in multiple ways, including “geography” (81%), “values” (45%), “culture” (40%) and “lifestyle” (36%).
Community is also no longer just a “physical thing,” noted Dennis Duquette, Mass Mutual's head of community responsibility and president of the Mass Mutual Foundation, in the firm’s report. “Americans are connecting with communities both online and in-person,” he said. “Most surprising in today's digital world, regardless of age, Americans interact with their communities in-person, with the exception of political and interest-related communities.”
Still, despite ongoing economic improvement in the U.S., most of those polled said they have not put “financial uncertainty and volatility” behind them. In fact, approximately four in 10 Americans feel anxious about their current and future financial security and think about their financial well-being daily, while more than half (53%) said they have supported someone in their community in a time of financial stress, with another 25% reporting that they’ve been supported by others in their community during a time of need.