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19 Volunteering Statistics Your Nonprofit Team Should Study

Did you know that volunteering makes us happier? Research shows that volunteering boosts people’s mental health and wellbeing, as well as their life satisfaction. What you may not know is there are dozens of other amazing volunteering statistics available to you. 

These are not only interesting facts, but also helpful tools that can support your capacity to recruit and manage volunteers. It is crucial for any nonprofit manager to keep up-to-date on the latest trends to make informed decisions within their volunteer management plan. 

Volunteer management software can help you track your own volunteering statistics within your organization to improve your messaging. It can also help you measure your organization against your competitors and partners.  This way, you can better understand how you fare against the field and what you can do better to take advantage of current trends in the community.  

General Volunteering Statistics

It is helpful to understand a few basic volunteering statistics to help you budget volunteers appropriately, create recruitment plans, show appreciation to volunteers, and manage volunteers effectively. 

For instance, knowing how much volunteers are worth can help you improve your budgeting with “in-kind” support resources. This can help you show your impact to funders and also create a source of matching support for grant funding. 

  • In 2021, Independent Sector found that an average volunteer hour was worth $28.54. This means that when you budget “in-kind support,” you can multiply that number by the number of volunteer hours you collect to show a distinct value. A good tool verifies and tracks hours. Golden’s software, for instance, tracks volunteer hours in 3 separate ways to help you understand impact and streamline reporting. 
  • To help with that tracking, you might factor that the average volunteer logs 52 hours a year in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The same Independent Sector study found that volunteers contribute more than $200 billion to the United States economy.  This means their impact goes beyond time. They are helping to create jobs in the nonprofit sector and provide services in the community that have a viable value.  You can use these volunteering statistics in your messaging. For example: “Without our volunteer-led program, the only other resource for community members would be to turn to emergency services. We can estimate that we are saving the community tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars with a more effective resource to solve problems.” This gives the community a reason to invest in you! The closer you can track the statistics with software, the better. 
  • Half of volunteers give more money to a charity with which they volunteer. Recruiting volunteers can build your fundraising base. 

General Volunteering Statistics

Volunteering statistics about who gives time, how, and why can help you with your volunteer recruitment

  • One billion people volunteer every year, according to the United Nations Volunteer Programme. This means that 1 in 7 people internationally volunteer. If you want to recruit 8 new volunteers, you will likely want to send outreach to at least 7 times as many people. 
  • Twenty-five percent of Americans volunteer, per the Bureau of Labor. Statistics. Depending on where you are in the country, the rates are much higher. Utah has the highest rate in the country, with 51% of residents volunteering every year. 
  • Seventy percent of volunteers do not volunteer formally, according to the Bureau of Labor. Statistics. They help in their community in various ways without attribution. This is important to understand, because you might be able to recruit from other informal settings, such as churches or schools. 
  • A majority of American volunteers are between 35 and 44. The next largest group is 45-54. This is very important to understand when segmenting your recruitment materials for age groups. It is another area where management software can help tremendously. For example, Golden’s software helps you segment your volunteer list for different types of communication and notifications. 
  • Volunteering statistics show that volunteers help mainly in a few areas. Thirty-five percent of volunteers help with fundraising. Thirty-four percent help religious organizations. Twenty-four percent help with education programs. Have you considered asking your volunteers to help you fundraise? Or have you reached out to partner with your local schools, universities, and churches? If you haven’t, now you might! 
  • Almost half of nonprofits do not measure the impact that volunteers have on their organization, according to the Software Advice Volunteer Impact Report. More than 30% of those who do not indicate that it is because they do not have the capacity for measurement. Golden makes it easy to keep track of statistics for your organization while you manage volunteers, events, and more. 

Corporate Volunteer Statistics 

Corporations can be a great source of volunteerism. Volunteering statistics specific to corporations and corporate volunteer programs can help you understand where you might try to recruit volunteers and how. 

  • Sixty-one percent of millennials (born 1981 to 1996) who do not volunteer themselves still consider a company’s commitment to the community in making their job choice (Deloitte). 
  • An even higher number, more than 70% of Millennials and their younger Gen Z counterparts will pay more for products whose companies are socially responsible. For these generations, being sustainable and socially responsible is more important than the brand. 
  • This means that companies need to link to volunteering programs. Forty-seven percent of companies were offering volunteer programs in 2018, up from only 40% in 2014 (Society for Human Resource Management). If they do not have a program, they likely are thinking about establishing one. Good software can help you pitch to potential corporate partners in your community. You want to show them the impact they can have, the ease of accessing opportunities, and how you can help them translate their contribution to community-social responsibility reports. 

Statistics About Volunteering During COVID-19  

Volunteering statistics show that volunteering did not suffer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Community members found outlets through which to serve. Here are some key statistics about the pandemic and volunteering. 

  • Virtual volunteering opportunities went from rare to common, with nonprofits reporting that they save 33% of volunteering costs by going virtual.   Are you offering virtual volunteer opportunities? Software like Golden can help you develop diverse ways to post different types of opportunities at different times and at different venues. 
  • Organizations like the International Red Cross experienced a surge in volunteering during the pandemic, according to the United Nations. People were eager to help with food and health relief in their communities, despite the fear of contracting the disease. 
  • LinkedIn members in the United States added more than twice the volunteer activities to their profiles each month during the pandemic (from 55,000 in 2017 to 110,000 in 2020). Volunteering is becoming an important marketing tool for individuals to showcase their skills and their commitment to the community.  

Statistics About Volunteering During COVID-19  

Health Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering does not only make you happier, it helps you live a longer, healthier life! These great volunteering statistics about health benefits can help you sell the case in your recruitment materials. If you can track hours logged and compare those to health benefits potentially received, people might make the time to dedicate even more hours. 

        • Studies as reported by Americorps found that some of the healthiest people in the United States volunteer more than 100 hours a year.  There are no additional benefits beyond the 100 hour mark. If you are tracking volunteer hours, maybe think about sending an alert to volunteers at regular intervals when they are meeting the mark. Volunteer management software like Golden can help you set up automatic alerts for your volunteers.
        • Older volunteers reap specific health benefits from volunteering. Volunteers ages 65+ report reduced depression, improved longevity, and even reduced blood pressure. 
        • The positive health rewards mainly stem from a sense of accomplishment. This is why it is vital to reward volunteers and show appreciation! (See here for a list of great volunteer appreciation ideas.)  Golden uses a new system that makes it even easier for volunteers to track their impact and apply it to rewards: Karats. Each nonprofit organizer can easily customize rewards depending on the age group and demographics of the volunteers! 

Golden knows that your volunteers are worth their weight in gold! That’s why, with us, you get Karats – a social currency that recognizes the contribution of your volunteers in a unique way. Check it out now.

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Don’t Just Study Them - Use Them! 

Knowing and studying these volunteering statistics is fun for any nonprofit professional.  However, they are not simply for enjoyment! 

Nonprofits can take advantage of billions of dollars in economic worth by fostering volunteer programs. Yet many nonprofits do not track their volunteer support, and mainly lack the resources to do so.

A tool like Golden’s Volunteer Management Software can help you streamline your messaging and your management to reach out to more potential volunteers, boost opportunities for your current volunteers, and even link to local partners that have high rates of volunteerism. It can help you reward and support the people who are making your work possible. 

As Elizabeth Andrews, the first Alabama Congresswoman, said: “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.” They are the lifeblood of your nonprofit and you want to ensure that you are helping them in the best way possible, with easier tools for them to connect with you.