The annual Volunteering in America report for 20111 was released earlier this week and has some interesting stats on the state of volunteerism in the US. The report, released by the Corporation for National and Community Service each year, is the most comprehensive longitudinal look at volunteering in the United States, spanning over a decade of service data.
The report is a great research-based resource for trends that can help you target your volunteer recrtuiment efforts (i.e., focus your recrtuiment campaign on 35-44 year olds, since they have the highest volunteer rates), compare how you are doing (i.e., by comparing your average annual volunteer hours with your state's average), or set realistic goals for your program (i.e., base your retention goals on average retention rates for your state). It also debunks many a myth about volunteering (i.e., poverty rates have a significant negative effect on volunteer rates).
- The national volunteer rate has remained at a steady 26% for the past five years (ranging from 26.2% to 26.8% during those years).
- In 2010, the rate for rural volunteers was highest (27.9%), with suburbans running a close second (27.5%), and urbans lagging behind (22.9%).
- The median hours volunteers served in 2010 was about the same for urban (51 hours) as it was for rural and suburban (both at 52 hours)
- The largest percentage of volunteers continue to serve at religious organizations (35% from 2008 to 2010). Volunteers also favored serving in educational settings (26.7% from 2008 to 2010)
- The top three factors that influenced volunteer rates were 1) percent of residents with a high school degree (85.3%), 2) home ownership rate (65.9%), 2) multi-unit housing rate (32.7%)
- The poverty rate had a minimal affect on volunteer rates (14.3%) as did the unemployment rate (9.8%)
- in 2010, 64.5% of volunteers maintained their service for at least a year.
Share the Data for Your Area
There are some cool ways you can customize and share the info with your volunteers, board, supporters, or executive management. If you are interested in data trends for your region, state, or large- to mid-size city, you can visit the Volunteering in America data page to create customized reports for your specific geographic area. You can also download a state widget to post on your website or share through social media. The widget lists the selected state’s ranking and includes a web link to additional info. You can also grab code to embed the infographic below in your newlsetter, blog, or website.
1The Volunteering in America report is developed through a partnership between the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the U.S. Census Bureau, and the Bureau for Labor Statistics. Volunteering data is collected annually through the Current Population Survey’s (CPS) Supplement on Volunteering, a monthly survey of about 60,000 households (approx. 100,000 adults), conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Volunteers are defined as people over age 15 who perform unpaid volunteer tasks on behalf of an organization.