Volunteerism Rates - Insights

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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

  • 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."
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Quotes
  • "According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, volunteerism peaked between 2003 and 2005, when 28.8 percent of Americans reported having volunteered the previous year. Today, the numbers are far less"
  • "Approximately 63 million Americans — 25% of the adult population — volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference. The 2016 national value of volunteer time is $24.14 per hour. In other words, Americans contribute $193 billion of their time to our communities. The volunteer rate declined by 0.4% to 24.9% in 2016. Women volunteer at higher rates (27.8%) than men (21.8%). People aged 35-44 and 45-54 are most likely to volunteer (28.9% and 28% respectively) while 20-24 year olds have the lowest rates (18.4%)."
  • "On average, people spend an average of 52 hours per year volunteering their time. 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two. The top four national volunteer activities are food collection or distribution (24.2%), fundraising or selling items to raise money (23.9%), general labor or transportation (18.8%), and tutoring or teaching (17.9%). The top four volunteer areas are for religious (34.1%), educational (26%), social service (14.9%), and health (7.3%) organizations. 42.1% of people became volunteers with their main organization after being asked to volunteer."
Quotes
  • "Volunteer Rate 30.3% in 2018 24.9% in 2016 Number of Volunteers 77.3 million in 2018 62.6 million in 2016"
  • "26.5% of males volunteer 33.8% of females volunteer 26.1% of Generation Y Americans volunteer 28.2% of Millennials volunteer 36.4% of Generation X Americans volunteer 30.7% of Baby Boomers volunteer 24.8% of Silent Generation Americans volunteer 30.0% of veterans volunteer"
Quotes
  • " Rank Charity Donors Tracking This Charity 1 Doctors Without Borders, USA 30,717 2 American Red Cross 18,734 3 The Nature Conservancy 14,449 4 Natural Resources Defense Council 14,258 5 World Wildlife Fund 13,800 6 ALSAC - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 13,171 7 UNICEF USA 12,730 8 Save the Children 11,792 9 DAV (Disabled American Veterans) Charitable Service Trust 10,943 10 American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 10,785 On the 10 Most Followed Charities list, these ten charities have been most frequently tracked by registered users on the Charity Navigator site. The number next to their name is the number of accounts following the charity."
  • "Similar to our 10 Most Followed Charities list, these ten charities are the most frequently viewed charities on the Charity Navigator website. The ranking is determined by the number of pageviews to their rating page in the past 30 days. Rank Charity Views 1 Feeding America 27,172 2 Wounded Warrior Project 19,284 3 International Rescue Committee 18,573 4 Save the Children 16,993 5 UNICEF USA 16,718 6 ALSAC - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital 16,390 7 International Fellowship of Christians and Jews 14,993 8 Islamic Relief USA 12,746 9 Doctors Without Borders, USA 11,995 10 American Red Cross 11,959 "
  • "This Top 10 list contains some heavy hitters in the nonprofit sector. Each of these charities had total expenses greater than $500 million in its most recent fiscal year. Their combined total expenses are approximately $10 billion. Rank Charity Total Expenses 1 American Red Cross $2,937,181,875 2 Feeding America $2,826,138,224 3 City of Hope $1,819,787,572 4 Dana-Farber Cancer Institute $1,681,302,389 5 ALSAC - St. Jude Children's Research Hospital $1,433,064,066 6 Smithsonian Institution $1,390,817,397 7 Americares $1,325,483,294 8 Direct Relief $1,242,507,232 9 World Vision $1,052,417,101 10 Catholic Relief Services $979,780,709 "
Quotes
  • "United States: • There are more than 600 locally supported American Red Cross chapters. • More than 500,000 volunteers and approximately 35,000 employees provide assistance to the victims of more than 60,000 disasters. • More than 9.5 million people are trained in lifesaving skills through a Red Cross class"
  • "Worldwide: • More than 97 million Red Cross or Red Crescent volunteers. • 186 Red Cross or Red Crescent national societies."
  • "Youth: • More than 125,000 youth and young adults call themselves Red Cross volunteers. • Youth represent more than 23 percent of total Red Cross volunteers."
Quotes
  • "NRDC works to safeguard the earth—its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends."
  • "We combine the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild"
  • "Charity Navigator awards NRDC its top 4-star rating."
  • ""One of America's 100 Best Charities…. Even by environmentalist standards, this is a relentless group of lawyers and scientists." —Worth magazine "One of the nation's most powerful environmental groups." —The New York Times "NRDC is, by many accounts, the most effective lobbying and litigating group on environmental issues." —The Wall Street Journal"
Quotes
  • "Founded at its grassroots in the United States in 1951, The Nature Conservancy has grown to become one of the most effective and wide-reaching environmental organizations in the world. Thanks to more than a million members and the dedicated efforts of our diverse staff and more than 400 scientists, we impact conservation in 79 countries and territories across six continents."
  • "Our mission is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Our vision is a world where the diversity of life thrives, and people act to conserve nature for its own sake and its ability to fulfill our needs and enrich our lives."
Quotes
  • "The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) was the first humane society to be established in North America and is, today, one of the largest in the world."
  • "Headquartered in New York City, the ASPCA maintains a strong local presence, and with programs that extend our anti-cruelty mission across the country, we are recognized as a national animal welfare organization. We are a privately funded 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, and are proud to boast more than 2 million supporters across the country."
  • "The ASPCA’s mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh in 1866, is “to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.”"
Quotes
  • "April is National Volunteer Month and Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, is celebrating the volunteers that support food banks and food-assistance agencies. 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 – that’s more than 100 million volunteer hours a year – according to Hunger in America 2014, a study conducted by Feeding America."
  • "“We are grateful to the more than two million individuals who contribute to the remarkable work of helping to feed the 46 million people in this country—including 12 million children and more than 7 million older adults—who turn to us for assistance every year.”"
  • "Volunteers help Feeding America’s nationwide network of 200 food banks in every aspect of their operation. Volunteer activities can range from gleaning produce from a farm; packing, sorting and distributing food; helping to staff an event; or providing a food bank 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."
  • "Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. "