Volunteerism at lowest rates since 2002

April 4, 2014

Volunteerism at lowest rates since 2002

If your nonprofit has had a hard time finding volunteers lately, you may not be alone. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recently reported volunteering in the U.S. in 2013 was at its lowest rate since it began gathering data in 2002. At 25.4 percent, the rate was a 1.1 percent decrease from September 2012.

By age, the most likely group to volunteer was individuals between 35 – 44 years old, while the lowest was 20 – 24 year olds. However, there has been some positive news about volunteering lately, such as LinkedIn's volunteer marketplace which seeks to pair organizations and individuals. Many people are also finding volunteering is a good way to remain constructive when they are having trouble finding full-time work.

Part-time employed Americans volunteer at the highest rate at 31.7 percent, 5 percent more than the number of full-time workers who give their time. The report also found that while the unemployed volunteer at a lower percentage, they donate the most time at 65 hours annually. 

How to bring in more volunteers
According to the legal help website, Nolo, organizations must consider what motivates volunteers and realize that there are different reasons for donating time to a nonprofit. Some people want to develop new skills to bolster a resume, others want to meet new people and be involved in their community and some just want a reason to get out of the house.

Nonprofits should make sure volunteer opportunities at their organizations can fulfill any of these desires. Speak with volunteers before assigning them a task so they will be doing work where they feel the most engaged. This will increase the chance they will return and help again in the future. The more often a volunteer participates with the same organization, the more valuable they become. Just as onboarding a new employee at a company takes time, the same is true with volunteers.

Content presented by First Nonprofit Group, the leading provider of state unemployment insurance solutions for 501(c)(3) nonprofit employers.


Ready to chat?
Get in touch today to request a no-obligation savings evaluation.


First Nonprofit has saved us so much money over the state’s program. We had one little glitch with the state recently and we contacted FNP immediately. FNP staff called us back immediately and moved to remedy the problem.

WI Council of Religious & Independent Schools (WCRIS), Madison, WI

First Nonprofit has been a great partner. They have helped us saved hundreds of thousands of dollars! They have awesome resources for our nonprofit organization. Thanks for the partnership.

Community Care Inc., Milwaukee, WI

Life is certainly busy these days but having business partners like First Nonprofit has made some of the process hassle free. We have worked with this team for years. When we changed payroll systems, they outlined every step. I think this team is terrific and I know they get the job done! Thank you, Cruz, to all the team at FNP.

Gulfside Healthcare Services, New Port Richey, FL

FNP has helped our agency to save thousands of dollars every year on our unemployment coverage. The service is phenomenal, and we are thankful to their team as our partner. My experience working with Marshall on the advocacy around UE for nonprofits was also a highlight as someone who teaches advocacy and lobbying for nonprofits. Really, your whole team is top shelf, so thank YOU!

Advancing Academics, Turtle Creek, PA

Chicago Children’s Theatre has greatly benefited from our partnership with First Nonprofit, and I have always enjoyed working with the staff on our filings and any complicated questions. I would not hesitate to recommend First Nonprofit to fellow nonprofits. We’re very happy customers.

Chicago Children’s Theatre, Chicago, IL

FNP is a great resource for Daniel Kids. To have a TPA that we can count on to take point on not only managing our unemployment claims, but to support and guide any protest hearing, is invaluable. All the professional support staff we have worked with have been excellent, very knowledgeable and responsive. We are grateful for the help and support, thank you.

Daniel Kids, Jacksonville, FL

When I first began in my position at my organization, I hadn’t had experience working with a company like FNP. The staff was so patient and helpful in helping to explain the benefits of First Nonprofit. Anytime I reach out with a question I receive a quick, clear, and thorough response. I’m so thankful that we decided to partner with FNP. Their excellence in customer service, coupled with their variety of packages frees us up to truly serve our staff and community with a peace of mind knowing that our organization is protected against unanticipated unemployment insurance expenses.

Homes of Hope, Chicago, IL

First Nonprofit gets an A+ in my book. You are so easy to work with & very knowledgeable! Whether it is my quarterly correspondence with Kim or my random interactions with Dawn about a bond … I am so pleased that I get to work with such a helpful company. Thank you!

Women's Choice Network, Pittsburgh, PA