Giving and Volunteering in the United States 2001
The “Key Findings” report from the Independent Sector’s Giving and Volunteering in the United States project provides a strikingly different estimate of the overall percentage of volunteers in America. This report indicates that 44% of adults (or about 84 million Americans age 21 or over) volunteered in 2000. This is well higher than the 28% estimate in the Bureau of Labor Statistics report. The Independent Sector survey contacted 4,216 Americans, while the Bureau of Labor Statistics survey is based on interviews with about 60,000 households.
The Independent Sector report indicates that volunteers contributed about 15.5 billion hours to organizations in 2000. No breakdown is available in this short summary report for different types of organizations. The Independent Sector report estimates that 89% of households made charitable donations in 2000, with the average household donation being $1,620. The report also shows that almost all volunteers also donated money to charitable organizations. Of all Americans 21 or older, 42% volunteered and donated money to charities, 2% volunteered only, 46% donated money only, and 10% did neither. Average contributions were much higher in volunteering ($2,295) than in non-volunteering ($1,009) households.
Hill Strategies is planning to prepare two reports analyzing arts and culture volunteers and donors in Canada, based on a 2000 national survey of volunteers and donors. Look for these reports in the fall of 2003.