Volunteers prove to be a big help for nonprofits

May 7, 2013

Volunteers prove to be a big help for nonprofits

Many nonprofits are built around a social cause that means a lot to many Americans. This is why they dedicate their time and energy to work for the organization. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nearly 65 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2011 and September 2012. While the numbers are slightly down from the previous year, the stats still show volunteering is strong throughout the U.S.

Volunteer time is proving to be quite valuable, as these Americans are making a difference at the nonprofit of their choice. A report from the Independent Sector revealed the estimated value of volunteer time for 2012 was $22.14 per hour, and with more than one-quarter of the U.S. population donating their time, nonprofits are able to focus on growth and expansion.

When volunteering, there are many things Americans can do at their favorite nonprofits. A study from the Corporation for Nation and Community Service (CNCS) showed more than 26 percent of those who pledged time at nonprofits spent time fundraising, nearly 24 percent were collecting/distributing food and one in five were taking part in general labor. While volunteering is rewarding for several Americans, they are also giving nonprofits some real help in reaching their goals and serving their primary cause.

Nonprofits want to encourage more volunteering, reflecting the sort of automatic commitment of Americans to lend a hand and help their neighbors," wrote Rick Cohen for Nonprofit Quarterly. "But they should be careful about inadvertently signaling to policymakers that valuable volunteer labor can take the place of the vital government appropriations that nonprofits need to truly help people and communities in need."

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