New volunteer survey highlights trends, impacts
December 18. 2013 6:00AM
The Corporation for National and Community Service released its annual volunteer study Dec. 16, showing the latest trends in volunteerism across the nation and in South Dakota.
Nationally, the study shows one in four U.S. residents volunteering last year, teen volunteer rates growing and working mothers volunteering at a significantly higher rate than the population as a whole. It also highlights the fact that volunteers donate more often than those who do not volunteer.
“As the Sioux Falls area volunteer center, we are always excited to see this study come out each year,” said Sara Carothers of the Helpline Center. “We watch the trends closely. We watch our rankings closely. The numbers help guide us in our work to engage even more volunteers in service in Sioux Falls.”
The study ranked South Dakota seventh for overall volunteer rates among the 50 states and Washington, D.C. This is down slightly over the previous year, when South Dakota ranked fifth in the nation for volunteerism.
“It is a little disappointing to see,” Carothers said. “But it’s not a huge slip. Had we held steady at our previous rate, we would have moved up to the third ranking spot. We are excited to see that South Dakota’s Generation X volunteers rank second in the nation for volunteer rates in their age group. That’s a very positive trend.”
The study also highlighted the following volunteer trends for South Dakota.
• 35.7 percent of residents volunteer, ranking them seventh among the 50 states and Washington, D.C.
• 34.3 volunteer hours per resident
• 210,660 volunteers
• 21.8 million hours of service
• $347.9 million of service contributed
• 55.0 percent of residents donate to charity
• 14.8 percent of residents participate in public meetings
• 38.3 percent of residents over age 55 volunteer
For more information about volunteering in the Sioux Falls area, visit www.helplinecenter.org or dial 2-1-1.