New Report: 1 in 4 Americans Volunteer but Engagement With Nonprofits Down
(Press release, Dec. 15, 2014) — As the holiday season spotlights acts of kindness and giving back, a new federal study shows that one in four Americans volunteered through an organization and two-thirds helped their neighbors last year.
The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research, released by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC), shows that service to others continues to be a priority for millions of Americans.
“We are calling on Americans to volunteer in their communities, and to invite their friends and families to join them,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service. “Volunteers enrich our communities and keep our nation strong. Service also connects us with our neighbors and provides a chance to use our skills for the common good. There are so many ways we can make a difference for those in need, during the holiday season and throughout the entire year.”
This year’s report found that 62.6 million adults (25.4 percent) volunteered through an organization in 2013. Altogether, Americans volunteered nearly 7.7 billion hours last year. The estimated value of this volunteer service is nearly $173 billion, based on the Independent Sector’s estimate of the average value of a volunteer hour.
In addition, more than 138 million Americans (62.5 percent) also engaged in informal volunteering in their communities, helping neighbors with such tasks as watching each other’s children, helping with shopping, or house sitting. Other civic health indicators from the report found that two-thirds (68.5 percent) of Americans have dinner with their family virtually every day, while three in four (75.7 percent) see or hear from friends and family at least a few times a week, and more than a third (36.3 percent) are involved in a school, civic, recreational, religious, or other organization.