Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Volunteering in America Research Highlights

The Corporation for National and Community Service hosts the most comprehensive collection of information on volunteering in the U.S. at its Web site: www.VolunteeringInAmerica.gov. The site allows civic leaders, nonprofit organizations, and interested individuals to retrieve a wide range of information regarding trends and demographics in volunteering in their regions, states, and almost 200 cities. This document highlights some of the key findings from the data. For the purposes of this report, volunteers are persons age 16 and older who serve through or with an organization without pay at any point during a 12 month-period between September of one year and September of the following year.

Key Findings

• In 2008, 61.8 million Americans or 26.4 percent of the adult population contributed 8 billion hours of volunteer service worth $162 billion, using Independent Sector’s 2008 estimate of the dollar value of a volunteer hour ($20.25).

• Despite the challenges of a tough economic situation, the volunteering rate held steady between 2007 and 2008, while the number of volunteers slightly increased by about one million.

• Over 441,000 more young adults (age 16-24) volunteered in 2008 than 2007, representing an increase from about 7.8 million to more than 8.2 million.

• Neighborhood engagement levels have risen sharply since 2007, with a 31 percent increase in the number of people who worked with their neighbors to fix a community problem and a 17 percent increase in the number of people who attended community

• As the economy slows and nonprofit organizations struggle to provide services on smaller budgets, volunteers become even more vital to the health of our nation’s communities. Between September 2008 and March 2009, more than a third (37%) of nonprofit organizations report increasing the number of volunteers they use, and almost half (48%) foresee increasing their usage of volunteers in the coming year.1 Almost no nonprofit organizations are showing a decrease in their volunteer usage.

• Volunteers were much more likely than non-volunteers to donate to a charitable cause in 2008, with 78.2 percent contributing $25 or more compared to 38.5 percent of non-volunteers.

• Highest volunteer rate: Since 1989, the Midwest region of the United States has had the highest volunteer rate among U.S. regions for all adults, with a rate of 23.9 percent in 1989, and 30.2 in 2008. This is a shift from 1974 when the West had the highest volunteer rate.

Top Ten States for Volunteer Rate:
1 Utah 43.5%
2 Nebraska 38.9%
3 Minnesota 38.4%
4 Alaska 38.0%
5 Iowa 37.1%
6 Montana 36.6%
7 South Dakota 36.4%
8 Kansas 36.2%
9 Vermont 35.6%
10 North Dakota 35.0%

1 Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN 38.4%
2 Portland, OR 36.7%
3 Salt Lake City, UT 36.5%
4 Seattle, WA 34.3%
5 Kansas City, MO 33.4%
6 Columbus, OH 32.8%
7 Oklahoma City, OK 32.5%
8 Hartford, CT 32.0%
9 Washington, DC 30.9%
9 Denver, CO 30.9%

Highest volunteer rate: Minneapolis-St. Paul had the highest overall volunteer rate of the 51 largest metropolitan areas in the country between 2006 and 2008 at 38.4 percent. Minneapolis-St. Paul was also ranked 1st for their volunteer rate between 2005 and 2007. The median volunteer rate for large cities during 2006 to 2008 was 27.3 percent.

Full document HERE.

1 comment:

Jinx McHue said...

Hey, cool information! Minnesota is #3 in the state rankings and MSP is #1 for metropolitan rankings. Must be our "Minnesota nice." :)

I submitted this to Conservapedia and it's now on their front page news column: