Follow-up: Non-profit volunteerism trends pointed up?

predictionsAt the end of 2011, I predicted in a year-end blog post that we would see an “increased focus by non-profit organizations on pursuing and securing volunteer resources“. Last week, I thought it would be fun to look back and determine if my prognostications where off-the-mark and by how much.

Here is some of what I found:

  • Corporations are focused more than ever on creating volunteer opportunities for their employees. According to some sources, approximately 85% of companies had a formal employee volunteer program.
  • In the 2012 Study of High Net Worth Philanthropy, it was reported that high net worth donors are volunteering their time in greater amounts.
  • Data in the third annual Millennial Impact Report indicates that this young generation is into volunteer work.
  • Retiring Baby Boomers are investing their new found time into volunteer opportunities.

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service:

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.”

If you haven’t visited this federal agency’s website yet, then you need to make a point to do so. It has lots and lots of data, statistics, reports and resources. Click here to visit that website.

So, is volunteerism a trend in the non-profit sector? Is this a larger trend? Was I right at the end of 2011?

I think so.

In the last year, I’ve seen more non-profit agencies utilize furloughs and layoffs to make their budgets work. At the same time, I’ve heard a number of board volunteers wonder out loud about what it will take to get more volunteers involved in their operations.

I also see government putting more money, time and resources into the idea of volunteerism. A few paragraphs ago I pointed you to a website  being run by a federal agency that is focused on promoting volunteerism and community service. I also see my home state of Illinois putting resources into a program they are calling “Serve Illinois“.  Additionally, my hometown of Elgin, Illinois got into the spirit of things and city hall created a volunteerism program and put it up on their website.

What do your eyes see? Are there more non-profits in your community putting together volunteer programs? Are you hearing large institutions like city government, United Way or others talking about investing in volunteerism? Please share your observations and thoughts in the comment box below.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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