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Doing Good by Doing Better

Sep 15, 2008
Did you know that 27.2 percent of adult Americans volunteer their services, from training and teaching to fundraising, food service, coaching, building, and other tasks in support of nonprofit organizations serving the disadvantaged?

The Corporation for National Community Service would like to increase those numbers, as well as provide volunteer programs with tools that will help keep their volunteers and attract additional ones. In their September 2008 report, Capitalizing on Volunteers' Skills: Volunteering by Occupation in America (.pdf), they note that most volunteers don’t utilize the skills from their own occupations in their primary volunteering activities. They hypothesize that “[f]inding ways to incorporate the occupational skills of volunteers may make the volunteer experience more fulfilling and increase nonprofits’ ability to retain their volunteers.” Their hypothesis is backed up by some statistics which are somewhat shaky owing to the smallish sample.

In any event, it is plain that utilizing a volunteer’s skill set greatly increases the value of the volunteer to the organization and in most instances arguably encourages volunteer retention. It is also interesting to note from this report that the annual dollar value of hours served exceeds $122 billion.

Let those 81 million points of light shine more brightly!
tags: Volunteerism

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