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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Volunteering Is Again and Greater than Ever


Opposite to what latest U.S. census knowledge may need you imagine, volunteering has made a outstanding restoration for the reason that COVID-19 pandemic. Curiosity in volunteering and precise volunteer participation haven’t solely rebounded to pre-pandemic ranges however have exceeded them in lots of circumstances.

drawing of six volunteers accomplishing various tasks

Throughout quite a lot of knowledge sources — Google Search traits, our personal evaluation of Civic Champs’ volunteer actions and hours logged, and analysis from our companions within the nonprofit expertise sector like VolunteerMatch and others — we see the identical consequence. Put up-pandemic, extra folks than ever are in search of out methods to volunteer of their communities.

Google search traits reveal that searches for “volunteer alternatives close to me” plummeted at the start of lockdowns in 2020. Nevertheless, ever since then, search curiosity has surpassed even 2018–2019 ranges.

graph showing increase in searches for volunteering opportunities from 4/19 to 10/23

VolunteerMatch, the biggest volunteer engagement community, noticed a staggering 23 p.c improve within the variety of volunteer searches on its platform from 2022 to 2023 alone. This surge in curiosity reveals that persons are pondering extra about volunteering and actively on the lookout for methods to get entangled.

graphic showing a 23 percent increase in VolunteerMatch from 2022 to 2023

Information from VolunteerMatch reveals a big improve in volunteer curiosity in 2023.

Participation Numbers Climb

At Civic Champs, the knowledge from our volunteer administration platform additionally aligns with this sample of rising participation. In 2020, Civic Champs shoppers noticed a mean of 262 lively volunteers per group. By 2023, that quantity climbed to a mean of 243 volunteers per group — an astounding 80 p.c improve in simply three years post-COVID.

The whole variety of volunteer hours has grown as effectively. Civic Champs knowledge reveals that the typical variety of hours volunteered per group elevated by 6 p.c from 2022 to 2023. This translated to every group receiving an extra almost $9,000 price of volunteer time on common.

table showing growth in volunteer metrics from 2022 to 2023

Volunteers Deepen Their Dedication

What’s extra, current volunteers are contributing extra time individually. From 2022 to 2023, the typical variety of volunteer actions per individual rose, as did the typical hours volunteered per individual, in line with Civic Champs. This implies that as volunteer packages have rebuilt post-COVID, members are extra devoted and engaged than earlier than.

The Do Good Institute surveyed nonprofit executives and located that many organizations had fewer employees members and assets in the course of the pandemic, however the want for his or her companies elevated on the identical time. This helps clarify why, in 2022, extra organizations stated it was tougher to search out volunteers with the fitting expertise than it was in 2019. As demand for companies will increase, the necessity for volunteers has additionally elevated. So whilst volunteering has grown, for a lot of nonprofits, this progress has been surpassed by the demand for companies.

graphic showing an increased need for volunteers from 2019 to 2022

The proportion of nonprofit executives reporting problem discovering volunteers with wanted expertise has doubled post-pandemic. Supply: The State of Volunteer Engagement report (PDF) by the Do Good Institute on the College of Maryland’s Faculty of Public Coverage, printed 2022.

Volunteering Appears Completely different Put up-Pandemic

Whereas formal volunteering by means of nonprofits and different organizations dropped by 7 proportion factors in the course of the pandemic, from 30 p.c in 2019 to 23 p.c in 2022, casual serving to held regular. Simply over half of People participated in an off-the-cuff serving to exercise throughout that very same time interval.

The rise in work-from-home fashions for companies additionally powered a fast improve in digital volunteering and microvolunteering. In 2023, over 90 p.c of corporations reported providing a digital volunteer program.

Company volunteering is one other accelerating pattern post-pandemic. Information from company engagement platform Benevity reveals a 57 p.c improve year-over-year in worker volunteer program participation and a 41 p.c improve in hours logged. Notably, over half of the hours logged on the Benevity platform had been distant or hybrid.

A Vibrant Future for Volunteering

Whereas the preliminary lockdowns in 2020 dealt a brief blow to volunteering, the sector has demonstrated immense resilience. Individuals are clearly keen to present again to their communities by means of volunteering, maybe now greater than ever.

As organizations adapt to the altering volunteer panorama with extra versatile choices, and volunteers carry renewed power and dedication to their roles, the way forward for volunteer engagement post-COVID seems extraordinarily brilliant.

Geng Wang is CEO at Civic Champs, a TechSoup companion, the place he leads a workforce of passionate change leaders to ship probably the most intuitive and impactful volunteer administration software program for nonprofits and their champions.

Civic Champs’ volunteer administration platform is offered to eligible TechSoup member organizations at a reduction.

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