- 2012 VCLA Fact Sheet (PDF 475 KB)
- Volunteering and civic engagement are the cornerstone of a strong nation. Citizens working together and talking to each other help solve problems and make their communities better places to live and work. In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years. 64.3 million Americans volunteered approximately 7.9 billion hours, valued at $171 billion. Two out of three citizens (65.1%, or 143.7 million citizens) served their communities by doing favors for and helping out their neighbors; more than half (56.7%) trusted all or most of the people in their neighborhood. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America data is the most comprehensive source of volunteering and civic engagement information assembled, thanks to a partnership with the U.S. Census Bureau and Bureau of Labor Statistics. The Volunteering and Civic Life in America Fact Sheet covers the key findings and highlights from the most recent 2011 data.
Nonprofits and Community Organizations
- Volunteering in America's Faith-Based Organizations (PDF 111 KB)
- This document reviews some of the research from the Corporation for National and Community Service on the nexus of faith-based organizations in order to help guide the process of forming more effective collaborations. (released 2009)
- The New Volunteer Workforce (PDF 315 KB)
- This article highlights innovations in volunteer management and other strategies for retaining volunteers. (released 2009)
- Capitalizing on Volunteers' Skills: Volunteering in America by Occupation (PDF 426 KB)
- The brief is designed to help broaden and deepen public and private sector partnerships, and allow nonprofits to take full advantage of the skills volunteers have to offer. (released 2009)
- Keeping Baby Boomers Volunteering (PDF)
- This report focuses on important components of recruiting and retaining Baby Boomer volunteers.(released 2007)
- Volunteer Management Capacity Study, 2003 (243 KB PDF)
- This report highlights the importance of establishing a strong volunteer support infrastructure for recruiting and retaining volunteers and provides a set of effective volunteer management practices. (released 2003)
Benefits of Volunteering and Participation in Civic Life
- Volunteering can make you healthier (PDF)
- Not only is volunteering a good thing for communities, but it is also good for you. Read about how volunteering can be beneficial to your health. (released 2007)
- Civic Health and Unemployment II: The Case Builds (PDF)
- This report, released by NCoC and its partners, explores the relationship between civic health and economic resilience. It finds that the density and type of nonprofit organizations in a community, as well as its social cohesion, are important predictors of that community’s ability to withstand unemployment in a recession. Read more here, and see the related 2011 brief.
Community Factors that Influence Volunteering
- Shorter Commutes Leave Time for Service. (2.8 MB PDF) (2007)
- This report uncovers what factors can influence a community’s volunteer rate. A variety of items, such as average commute times and average levels of education in a community, can help us predict and understand the level of service and volunteering in an area. (released 2007)
More about the Volunteers Themselves
- In 2007, 3.7 million volunteer caught the travel bug (PDF 356 KB)
- Learn more about individuals who travel a considerable distance to volunteer in other parts of the country, what states have the highest percentages of travels, where they go, and what types of volunteering they do. (released 2008)
- This report provides other interesting details of how volunteers and non-volunteers use their time. (released 2008)
- College Students are Twice as likely to Volunteer (PDF) (2006)
- The College Students Helping America report presents data on student volunteers and their volunteering habits. (released 2007)
- Teens, Baby Boomers, and older adults lead the way in volunteering (PDF) (2006)
- This report provides volunteering levels for 1974, 1989, and current Volunteering in America data. (released 2006)
- Mentors Regularly Work Full-Time
- This report focuses on mentors and looks at the characteristics and demographic factors of volunteers who mentor and other volunteers who do not mentor. (released 2006)
Civic Health Research and Resources
- NCoC provides research on a wide variety of topics related to civic health including civic learning, corporate citizenship, online engagement, political involvement, and social capital. Access these resources at www.ncoc.net/research.
NCoC collaborates with over 30 partners nationwide on civic health initiatives to create a deeper understanding of civic life, in order to generate dialogue and catalyze sustainable civic strategies. Read more about these partnerships and projects at www.ncoc.net/CHI.
This site is home to the most comprehensive look at volunteering and civic life in the 50 states and 51 cities across the country. Data includes volunteer rates and rankings, civic engagement trends, and analysis.
- In 2011, the number of volunteers reached its highest level in five years, as 64.3 million Americans volunteered through an organization, an increase of 1.5 million from 2010.
- Americans volunteered a total of almost 7.9 billion hours, an estimated economic value of roughly $171 billion.
- A majority of Americans assisted their neighbors in some way and more than a third actively participated in a civic, religious, or school group.
- Americans overwhelmingly volunteered in schools or with other youth organizations, working to advance the lives of young people.
- Nearly three out of five volunteers aged 25-54 are parents to children who are under 18. These parents volunteered well above the national average, focusing on helping fill local needs while also serving as role models—showing their children that community involvement is a critical choice and habit that can improve lives.
- Nine out of 10 parents in 2011 reported feeling some or a great deal of confidence in the public schools to do the right thing.