WASHINGTON, DC - According to statistics released by the Corporation for National and Community Service, the state of Utah again leads the nation in volunteerism with a rate of 43.5%. Nebraska came in second at 38.9%, with Minnesota, Alaska, Iowa, Montana, South Dakota, Kansas, Vermont, and North Dakota rounding out the Top Ten. Utah has maintained its hold on the top spot since these statistics starting being tracked annually, in 2002.
These statistics show what most of us in the volunteer world have known all along, that despite (and maybe even because of) the recent economic downturn, people continue to give of their time and skills to help organizations, agencies, and their communities.
The national rate of volunteerism is remaining more or less constant, at 26.4%, up from 26.2% last year, but down from the 28.8% rates posted in 2003, 2004, and 2005. What is not reflected in these statistics, however, is the impact of President Obama's "United We Serve" campaign and the proliferation of online recruitment sites such as serve.gov and allforgood.org. While it seems obvious that this campaign and these tools will help to spur volunteerism in America, the actual impacts won't be seen until this year's statistics are released sometime next year.
Volunteers are what make America work, they impact our neighborhoods, our communities, and our nation in almost infinite ways. Congratulations to the people of Utah for their commitment to volunteerism, and to the volunteers everywhere for working to make America (and the world) a better place.