Volunteerism is a cornerstone of American culture. It brings communities together and allows people to put their free time to good use by giving back to those in need.
In the years following the pandemic, a few major shifts have altered the philanthropic world and how people serve their neighbors. As more people return to the act of giving back, you may be interested to know where volunteer efforts stand today.
Explore some of the key volunteering statistics of 2023 to help learn more about the modern charitable landscape.
General Volunteer Statistics of 2023
The impact of volunteerism continues to grow as more people donate valuable time and money to meaningful causes in their communities. Volunteering rates continue to rise on average, demonstrating that many Americans are eager to uplift others and create long-lasting change after the pandemic.
The following are some key demographic statistics about volunteering in 2023:
About 63 Million Americans Volunteer Regularly
Despite busy schedules and difficult economic times, volunteering is an important part of American society. About 63 million individuals regularly devote some of their free time to helping others. This is equivalent to about a quarter of the overall adult population.
Different regions across the country have different volunteering rates, depending on the local way of life and philanthropic needs. Some of the most popular categories and organizations for volunteering include the following:
- Animal care
- Soup kitchens
- Environmental cleanup
Women and Parents Are Volunteering Most
For one reason or another, female individuals tend to volunteer at higher rates than males. Despite declining rates during the pandemic, women continued to donate more time and energy to meaningful causes. Parents with young children under 18 years old, regardless of their gender, are also more likely to volunteer than individuals without kids.
Baby Boomers and Gen X Have the Highest Volunteering Rates
Older people are more likely to volunteer than younger individuals. Gen X individuals born between 1965 and 1970 have the highest volunteering rates of all age ranges.
Baby Boomers born between 1946 and 1964 have the second-highest volunteering rates. Many retirees devote their newfound spare time to volunteer work and giving back to their communities.
Veterans Volunteer at Higher Rates Than Nonveterans
Veterans understand the value of teamwork and championing important causes for the greater good. They tend to continue giving back to their country long after their formal service is over. Vets volunteer at higher rates than individuals who were not active in the United States military.
Volunteer Statistics by State
Volunteerism looks different and plays a unique role in different communities. Giving back and lending a helping hand is part of the culture in some U.S. states.
Explore some intriguing volunteer statistics according to the state:
Utah Has the Highest Formal Volunteering Rates
Volunteering can be split into two categories — formal and informal. Formal volunteering refers to unpaid work for established organizations or groups. For example, you may pick up shifts for a local nonprofit or work in a soup kitchen for a few hours a week. Utah’s formal volunteering rate is 40.7%, the highest rate in the country, followed closely by Wyoming with 39.2% and Minnesota with 35.5%.
Utah is known for its culture of giving back and helping others. In fact, volunteers in the state generated nearly $3 billion in 2021 alone.
Montana Has the Highest Informal Volunteering Rates
Informal volunteerism refers to lending a helping hand to a person or cause in need without involvement in a club or nonprofit. For instance, you may take your elderly neighbor to their doctor’s appointments each week or cut their grass for them free of charge.
Of all the states, Montana has the highest rate of informal volunteering at 68.8%, meaning over two-thirds of the population is regularly doing favors for their neighbors and community members. Nebraska is second with 66.4%, and Maine is third with 65%.
Florida Has the Lowest Volunteer Rates
Florida has some surprising statistics on volunteers. Only about 15.9% of the Floridian population is involved in formal volunteering activities, and the state has the lowest volunteering rate in America. The average rate across the states is about 32.5%.
Like many locations, Florida volunteer rates declined during the COVID-19 pandemic. The state has a particularly large elderly population, and older individuals were encouraged to limit social interaction. This is likely to have had a direct impact on volunteering efforts. Only about 18% of Florida residents are part of a nonprofit or charity organization.
Youth Volunteer Statistics
Whether they are trying to meet community service requirements for school or participate in a meaningful after-school activity, kids play an important role in volunteerism. In addition to helping the local community, volunteering offers kids a safe space to learn about human connection, teamwork, and giving back.
Check out the following youth volunteer statistics to learn more about how kids are making a huge impact across the country:
Kids Who Volunteer Are 25% Less Likely to Have Anxiety
Volunteering can be an incredible opportunity for kids to act selflessly and help those in need. Giving back helps them gain perspective and practice gratitude. All that doing good is great for their mental health — teens who volunteer are 25% less likely to experience anxiety than those who do not.
Kids who volunteer one or more hours weekly are also 50% less likely to engage in unhealthy or destructive behaviors such as smoking cigarettes or abusing alcohol.
Teen Volunteerism Is Worth Over $34 Billion
Youth volunteers are very valuable for all types of organizations. Teenagers are often highly involved in their communities through sports teams, academics, and other extracurricular activities. In fact, teenagers account for approximately 2.4 billion hours of volunteer work each year. Those hours translate to over $34 billion for the United States economy.
A huge advantage of volunteering through adolescence is learning about the value of giving back early in life. A teen who engages in this practice early is more likely to become a lifelong volunteer, uplifting their neighbors and communities wherever they go.
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