Skip to main content

The kids are all right

Surrey, B.C: Oh young people these days. They’re self-involved, entitled and the reason that our communities are in trouble, right? Not so fast. A recent study conducted by Insights West in partnership with Coast Capital Savings indicates that the myths about young people that we are bombarded with may be just that, myths.

To mark B.C. Youth Week (May 1 – 7), Coast Capital Savings partnered with Insights West to undertake a survey of young British Columbians to understand their level of community involvement.

The results debunk the predominant opinions on the youth of today. Close to four in five (79%) 18-29 year olds in the province believe we are all part of a community and everyone should give back with their time and active participation.  More than half – 57% – assert that a key priority for them personally is volunteering their time in the local community.

Youth issues are of particular interest to the British Columbian credit union, which has a community leadership mission of building a richer future for youth. Through their Youth Get It signature programs, Coast Capital Savings fosters youth leadership, education and community involvement.  

Of specific note, this year, Coast Capital Savings’ Youth Get It Community Council program celebrates its five-year anniversary. The program, comprised of three geographically independent councils (Fraser Valley, Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island), recruits young community-minded people to make the credit union’s investment decisions for Coast Capital Savings’ Community Investment Grants program. In 2018, that represents an impressive $1.5 million.

‘Who knows better the challenges and issues facing young people today than other young people,” said Wendy Lachance, Director, Community Leadership with Coast Capital Savings.

It makes sense that a group of young community leaders decide where Coast Capital’s youth-focused community investments are best spent. It helps ensure that this money – over $1.5 million – is having the biggest impact on our young people.”

Lachance said that Coast Capital commissioned the Youth Week study to shine the spotlight on the good work that young people are doing in their communities and spread some good news at a time where society is quick to write young people off for a perceived apathy towards volunteerism, community leadership and important social causes.

In fact, young British Columbians seem to walk the talk when it comes to engagement in their community. According to survey results, in the past 12 months of the young British Columbians surveyed:

  • 48% made a donation of goods (food, clothing, etc.) to a charity or non-profit organization
  • 43% made a financial donation
  • 43% posted on social media about a community organization or charitable organization
  • 37% participated in a community or volunteer activity
  • 22% engaged in fundraising on behalf of a charity or non-profit organization.

Of note, young people are motivated to get involved in their community for more than just supporting a particular cause; close to half (49%) say they are more likely to participate in charity or community events for the social aspect of having a good time and meeting people than for the charity’s cause itself.

Overall, a majority of 18-29 year old British Columbians (60%) say it is easy for them to find a charity they can believe in.  This is far more than the number who find it easy to find inner peace (41%), true love (35%), or a politician they can trust (28%). 

“Under 30s are in that stage in life where they often don’t have enough money to do exactly what they want” says Insights West President Steve Mossop. “But, even as they face these challenges, young British Columbians are getting involved and giving back to their community—especially when it comes to their time and social engagement.”

 About Coast Capital Savings

Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership. An Imagine Canada Caring Company, the credit union invested $5.6 million into local communities in 2017, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and is a winner of the Canada’s Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. It has 52 branches serving its 555,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.


Coast Capital Media Line:
Phone number: 778.391.6225
Email address:

Top of main content