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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, June 12, 2006

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

   

New Federal Report Outlines Economic Benefit of Volunteering in America

 

(WASHINGTON D.C.) – According to “Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings,” a new study released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service, America’s 65.4 million volunteers donate the economic equivalent of almost $150 billion dollars in services each year.

Volunteer activity can be assigned an economic value and yields significant benefits to non-profit groups that use volunteers. Using Independent Sector’s estimate of $18.04 an hour, a standard measurement for the value of a volunteer’s time, the value of the 8.2 billion hours annually donated by Americans equates to $147.6 billion, a powerful economic impact of volunteering to the entire nation.

Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings” is based upon the most statistically significant study of volunteering ever conducted in America – an annual survey of 60,000 households begun in 2002 by the U.S. Census Bureau. It is the first study to give a detailed breakdown of America’s volunteering habits and patterns by state and region. The full report, including highlights, state-by-state rankings, profiles of volunteering in each region and state, statistical tables, and technical notes, is available at http://www.nationalservice.gov.

On a national level, 65.4 million or 28.8 percent of American adults volunteered in 2005, an increase of nearly six million volunteers since 2002. American volunteers spent a median of 50 hours per year volunteering. Women volunteer at significantly higher rates than males nationwide, but demonstrating that the face of volunteering has changed over the last few decades, women who work now have higher volunteer rates than women who do not work (36.1 percent of working women volunteer; 27.2 percent of non-working women volunteer.) Additionally, women with young children volunteer at a significantly higher rate (39.9%) than do women without young children (29%).

The report sheds new light on volunteering by working Americans. Employees in private sector firms are volunteering at slightly less than the national average. According to the report, in 2005 there were approximately 106.4 million adults working in the private sector at for-profit firms. 26.5 percent of these private sector employees volunteer. The national volunteer rate is 28.8 percent.

“This Administration, together with the nation’s leading volunteer-based organizations and service commissions in every state, wants to see millions more Americans bringing hope and solutions to our communities through volunteering – 10 million more, in fact, by 2010,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, an independent Federal agency. “The study we’re releasing today will help every state create stronger volunteer networks by showing what’s working, what’s not, and highlight the best opportunities to engage citizens in the future.”

Other key findings surrounding the 28.2 million working Americans who volunteer include:

  • 51.6 percent are women
  • 84.8 percent are white
  • The median age is 40
  • More private-sector employees volunteer with religious organizations (32.5 percent) than with any other type of organization
  • The most popular types of volunteer activities by working volunteers are:
    • Fundraising or selling items to raise money (31.6 percent)
    • Collecting, preparing, distributing or serving food (25.5 percent)
    • Engaging in general labor (23.3 percent)

“This study is an important measure of the progress made and challenges that remain to increase volunteering nationally,” said Evern Cooper Epps, President of The UPS Foundation and Vice President of Corporate Relations, and member of the President’s Council on Service & Civic Participation. “Just like a well-run business recruits, trains, and manages its employees, so too must nonprofits invest in their volunteers. Through effective volunteer resources management, organizations can successfully engage the volunteers needed to deliver vital services.”

The Corporation is the nation’s largest grant maker for volunteering and service, and it administers the Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America programs. It will be working with a broad-based coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government leaders to increase the number of volunteers in America from its current level of 65 million to 75 million by the year 2010. This initiative, called “10 by 10,” will be launched at the National Conference on Volunteering and Service, an annual gathering of 2,500 volunteer sector leaders taking place June 18-20 in Seattle. The Corporation put forth the 10 million goal as part of its five- year Strategic Plan released in February 2006.

“We are committed to working with corporate America and volunteer and service-driven organizations everywhere to expand the number of Americans who volunteer by 15 percent over the next five years,” said Eisner. “Many corporations are already engaged heavily in service, not only because it improves the communities where their employees work and live, but because it strengthens the bottom line – through increased employee morale, productivity, and customer goodwill. The continued – and increased – support of corporations will be vital in helping us meet the goal of 10 million more volunteers by 2010. I encourage any American who wants to make a difference to visit www.volunteer.gov to find the right volunteer opportunity for you.”

Background:

“Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings” presents an overview of volunteering at both the national and regional levels, as well as state rankings on volunteering indicators such as volunteering rate and intensity, and volunteering among seniors and students. The report features a two-page state profile for each state and the District of Columbia that displays information on the number of people volunteering, the volunteering rate, the number of hours volunteered, the primary organizations at which volunteers perform work, and the types of activities volunteers perform in each state. The report is based on data obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics through a “volunteering supplement” to the Current Population Survey (CPS) from 2002 to 2005. The volunteer supplement is administered annually to approximately 60,000 households nationwide.

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation provides opportunities for nearly 2 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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