I found this infographic for the recently released Volunteering in America 2011
powerful! It broadcasts the nation’s commitment to communities –
with 8.1 billion volunteer hours served – which translates to $173 billion! It also
graphically illustrates U.S. volunteer rates by age group. (Click on the visual to see the entire infographic.)
This research report is produced annually by the federal Corporation
for National and Community Service (CNCS) to provide elected and
non-profit leaders with in-depth information on volunteering trends and
The press release announcing this report notes that:
“as volunteers fill critical voids in their community’s
infrastructure, state and local leaders increasingly recognize the key
role volunteers play in addressing economic and social challenges at a
time of fiscal constraint.”
And “while the overall national volunteer rate dipped slightly from 26.8 percent in 2009 to 26.3 percent in 2010,
the number of hours volunteers served remained approximately the same
at 8.1 billion hours … and the proportion of volunteers who serve 100 hours or more appears to have increased …and the median number of hours served per volunteer appears to have increased from 50 to 52 per year.”
Key findings of the report:
Here are some of the key findings noted in the report's press release and fact sheet:
- Notably, Generation X volunteers (born 1965-1981) devoted more time
to service in 2010 than they ever have before, giving more than 2.3
billion hours---an increase of almost 110 million hours over 2009.
- Generation X members more than doubled their volunteer rate
between 1989 and the present day, from 12.3 percent in 1989 to 29.2
percent in 2010.
- This rise demonstrates a shift that researchers are seeing
across the “volunteer lifecycle”---the arc of civic involvement that
tends to increase as citizens feel a deeper connection to their
communities through personal networks, their workplace, and their
You can download the Volunteering in America 2011 Press Release (PDF), Fact Sheet and Infographic – here
- Teen volunteer rates have stayed consistently higher between 2002
and 2010 than they were in 1989, possibly reflecting the spread of
service-learning in schools across the country, the influence of
parental volunteering, and the rise of technology that makes it easier
for teens to find volunteer opportunities.
- The increases in volunteer rates seen among Generation X reflect an
observable pattern in volunteering among different age groups that
holds true year after year. You might call it a “volunteer lifecycle.”
What we see is that in every year for which we have volunteer data the
following is true:
- The volunteer rate tends to be higher in teen years than in
early adulthood, when the volunteering rate is typically at its second
lowest point after very old age.
- In the mid- to late twenties, volunteering rates begin to pick
up again, growing until they reach a peak around the time of middle age.
- After middle age, volunteering rates begin to drop as age increases.