Independent Sector Report Shows Increase in Family Volunteering

According to a new report from Independent Sector, a coalition of nonprofit organizations, foundations, and corporations dedicated to strengthening not-for-profit initiative and citizen action, more Americans are engaging in volunteer activities with family members and are volunteering more hours and more regularly than other volunteers.

The report, "America's Family Volunteers: Civic Participation Is a Family Matter," illustrates the latest trends in volunteering among American families and reveals that families who volunteer together exhibit a greater degree of commitment to civic engagement. The report found that half of all volunteers reported they served with family members — up from 46 percent in 1993 and 48 percent in 1995. In addition, family volunteers gave an average 4.3 hours per week in 1998; volunteers who did not volunteer with family members gave 2.8 hours, while the average for all volunteers was 3.5 hours. The top three areas where family volunteers gave time were informal volunteering on an ad hoc basis (50 percent), volunteering with religious organizations (50 percent), and youth development (41 percent).

"With family time more important than ever, [the report] confirms our observations that while families are busier than ever, they are still looking for ways to spend time together, teach important values, and share the experience of helping others," said Independent Sector president and CEO Sara E. Mel�ndez.

The complete report (16 pages, 1.04 MB, PDF) can be downloaded from the Independent Sector Web site: http://www.independentsector.org/PDFs/FamilyVols.pdf.

"Independent Sector Report Shows Family Volunteering on the Rise" Independent Sector Press Release 09/21/2001.