Another Reason to Thank Your Volunteers: Study Finds Service Worth Billions
|August 30, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Federal Government, Management, Research||
Have you thanked your volunteers lately? Volunteer appreciation is a year-round practice, not just something to be indulged in at an annual “Thank You” breakfast or luncheon. The value of volunteers is extraordinary according to research released this month by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) which indicates volunteers offer a huge economic and social benefit to their communities. In 2010, 62.8 million adults in the United States volunteered 8.1 billion hours of service, valued at approximately $173 billion dollars. I think that kind of value deserves an impromptu post on your nonprofit’s Facebook page, don’t you?
Some points of interest from the Volunteering in America data:
- Overall, the national volunteer rate decreased from 26.8 percent in 2009 to 26.3 percent in 2010, yet the overall number of hours served remained steady at 8.1 billion hours.
- More than one-quarter of volunteers (26.5 percent) engaged in some kind of fundraising for an organization. The second most popular form of volunteerism involved food collection or distribution (23.5 percent).
- The rates of teenagers performing volunteer services have remained higher from 2002 to 2010 than they were in 1989.
A Look at Pennsylvania Data
From 2008 to 2010, Pennsylvania had 2.7 million volunteers contributing approximately 352.6 million hours of service valued at 7.5 billion dollars. Over 27 percent of the state’s residents volunteer, giving Pennsylvania a ranking of 28 out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Of the state’s major cities, Philadelphia had the largest number of volunteers (over 1 million) and total volunteer hours (approximately 130 million) in 2010. However, between 2008 – 2010 Pittsburgh had a higher percentage of intensive volunteers (serving 100 hours or more) with 31.8 percent compared to Philadelphia’s 29.5 percent and data indicate a higher volunteer rate in urban areas in Pittsburgh than in Philadelphia (22.5 percent versus 12.4 percent). Additional data on volunteerism in Pennsylvania (and all other states) is available at the Volunteering in America website.