Volunteerism Rates - Insights
Five of the largest nonprofit organizations in the US that recruit and depend on volunteers are the Red Cross, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Nature Conservancy, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), and Feeding America.
A volunteer is someone who donates time, money, labor, and/or expertise to an organization, event, or cause.
Volunteerism in America
- About 63 million Americans volunteer their time, talents, and energy each year in the US, according to Nonprofitsource.
- In 2016, 27.8 percent of all women volunteered, and 21.8 percent of all men.
- According to data collected in 2016, 28.9 percent of people aged 35-44 and 28 percent of those aged 45-54 are most likely to volunteer. People aged 20-24 have the lowest rates of volunteering, at 18.4 percent.
- By 2018, the volunteer rate among Americans had risen to 30.3 percent overall.
- In 2018, 26.5 percent of males volunteered, and 33.8 percent of women, indicating more volunteering by women and less by men, compared with 2016 statistics.
- Dividing the volunteers by age groups, a 2018 study reported that 26.1 percent of Generation Y Americans volunteered, along with 28.2 percent of Millennial, 36.4 percent of Generation X, 30.7 percent of Baby Boomers, and 24.8 percent of Silent Generation Americans.
- In 2018, the highest proportions of volunteers came from Gen X and the Baby Boomers.
The American Red Cross
- The American Red Cross is one of the oldest, most widely known, and largest volunteer organizations in the world.
- In the US, there are more than 600 locally supported American Red Cross chapters. Over 500,000 volunteers and 35,000 employees assist the victims of over 60,000 disasters each year.
- "Youth represent more than 23 percent of total Red Cross volunteers."
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
- The mission of NRDC is "to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends."
- The NRDC has over three million dues-paying members and online activists who are considered volunteers.
- NRDC employs hundreds of scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates to make sure that the air, water, plants, and animals are protected.
- Charity Navigator has given NRDC its top 4-star rating.
The Nature Conservancy
- The Nature Conservancy is "one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world."
- It has more than a million members who are considered volunteers and employs a diverse staff and over 400 scientists.
- The group works to promote conservation in 79 countries and territories on six continents.
- The mission of the Nature Conservancy is "to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends."
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA)
- The ASPCA® is the oldest American humane society and the first to be established in North America. Today it is one of the largest such groups in the world.
- The ASPCA is based in New York City and has programs across the country.
- The group has more than 2 million donors/supporters and about 800 other volunteers at its New York facilities.
- Feeding America is America’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
- "More than two million people volunteer at a food pantry, soup kitchen, emergency shelter or after-school program in our country each and every month ... according to Hunger in America 2014, a study conducted by Feeding America."
- The volunteers at Feeding America help to feed 46 million people in the US every year, which includes 12 million children and 7 million older adults.
- Feeding America has a "nationwide network of 200 food banks...[and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs]". Volunteers glean produce from farms; pack, sort, and distribute food; help staff events; and provide access to specialized skills such as carpentry, marketing or technology. "Volunteers span all age groups and come from all walks of life – from celebrities, youth groups, corporate volunteer teams, fraternities and sororities, and individuals."