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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
Tuesday, June 13, 2006

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

   

Women Volunteer at Higher Rates than Men Across U.S., New Federal Study Finds

 

Working Women, Mothers, Have Higher Volunteer Rates

(Washington, D.C.) – Rates of volunteering vary widely from state to state, but whatever state they call home, volunteers are more likely to be women than men, and women with children and women who work have higher volunteer rates than other women. Those are among the findings of “Volunteering in America: State Trends and Rankings,” a first-ever federal study released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service.

Across the country, 32.4 percent of women volunteer, compared with 25 percent of men. A previous federal study, in 1974, found that women volunteered more than men, but that employed women accounted for only 43 percent of female volunteers, with 54 percent of the volunteers outside the workforce. By 2005, those numbers were more than reversed, with 63 percent of female volunteers employed and 34 percent outside the labor force.

Females volunteer at significantly higher rates than do males in every state; nationwide, women with children under age 18 volunteer at a significantly higher rate (39.9%) than do women without young children (29%). The role of women with children who volunteer is particularly important because of the impact their volunteering has on their children. A study released by the Corporation in November 2005 revealed that youth coming from families where their parents and/or siblings volunteer are more likely to volunteer themselves.

“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.

“This study reflects the old saying – if you want to get something done, ask someone who is busy,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the nation’s largest grant maker for volunteering and service. “Women lead the way when it comes to volunteering, and our nation derives an enormous benefits from their dedication and service.”

“This snapshot of volunteerism in America shows that the people of our country are answering President Bush’s call to service,” said Desiree T. Sayle, who is the Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush and Director of USA Freedom Corps. “We’re pleased with the volunteer trend of women, but see room for growth among youth, men, and the Baby Boomer generation. USA Freedom Corps welcomes the report’s valuable insight to the changing demographics of America’s volunteers, and will use this study as a tool to help the volunteer sector position itself for more substantial growth.”

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, and gave a total of 8.2 billion hours of volunteer service in 2005. Using Independent Sector’s estimate of the dollar value of a volunteer’s time, volunteering in America equated to a value of $147.6 billion dollars in 2005. The typical American volunteer is a white female who gives 50 hours per year volunteering through a religious organization as a tutor, mentor, coach, or referee.

“Volunteers are the lifeblood of our nation. From schools and shelters to hospitals and hotlines, volunteers are vital to America’s social and economic well-being,” said Eisner. “By giving us a clear picture of who volunteers, this report is a powerful tool for expanding volunteering in America.”

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 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 believe that a better future for all Americans includes a more widespread culture of service and volunteering,” said Eisner. “We are committed to working with volunteer and service-driven organizations everywhere to expand the number of Americans who volunteer by 15 percent over the next five years. America needs more mentors for our youth, companions for our elderly, and helpers after disasters. 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. National service participants help thousands of national and community nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, schools, and local agencies meet critical community needs in education, the environment, public safety, disaster response, and other areas. 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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