Who’s Got This Year’s Bragging Rights for Volunteering in the U.S.?

From Erin Barnhart, who runs our Volunteer Management Resource Center.

Last year, Utah and Minneapolis-St Paul came out on top as the state and large city with the highest average percentage of volunteers, according to research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). As CNCS releases civic engagement stats for 2008 today, anticipation is high to see who will take these titles away from the Twin Cities and the Beehive State. So, without further ado, this year’s city and state with the highest percentage of volunteers…Minneapolis-St Paul and Utah!

Ok, so they’ve held onto their spots for another year in a row. Still, these two locales aren’t the only ones with serious volunteer bragging rights. For example, when it comes to volunteer hours per resident, Salt Lake City comes out on top. The city with the highest percentage of millennial volunteers (those born in 1982 or after)? Portland, Oregon.

If you’re interested in learning more about how, where, and why people are volunteering, be sure to check out the newly launched Volunteering in America website. Here, you can find stats on the volunteering rates for nearly 200 large and mid-sized cities, as well as check out trends like how the economy has impacted volunteer engagement, why an increasing number of people are getting involved at the neighborhood level, whether volunteers donate more to charitable organizations than non-volunteers, and which age group is the most active in your city, state, or region.

Perhaps the coolest thing about the newly launched site is your ability to customize a profile of stats, charts, and graphs for your area, a feature that definitely comes in handy whether you’re trying to figure out how to best engage volunteers at your organization, accessing data as part of nonprofit studies or research, or even just looking for your area’s stats in order to challenge or taunt your far-flung friends.

As for Minneapolis-St Paul and Utah, congratulations on having such an impressively high percentage of your citizens engaged as volunteers. Don’t get too comfortable though: Nebraska and Portland would love to take your place. Until next year…

[This blog entry appeared on an older version of Idealist; any broken links are a result of having re-launched our site in Fall 2010.]

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