The world of Social Services is populated with “givers”. No sensible person seeks fame or fortune in social work, so every year at this time we give thanks for our colleagues who became social workers because of an inner impulse to help the less fortunate.
This Thanksgiving we would like to recognize, and especially thank, one very special group of these “givers” - the over 62 MILLION VOLUNTEERS who provide indispensable support for both community based and nonprofit social services across the entire country.
"Without your generosity - our efforts would be in vain.
You are the backbone of all we do."
The Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics estimates that:
• 24.9% of all American adults volunteered in 2015
• That’s 62.6 million volunteers
• Contributing 7.9 billion hours of service
• With a monetary value of $184 billion
The Urban Institute estimates that between 2003 and 2013 the number of public charities increased by almost 20%. While many of these new nonprofits may be primarily staffed by professionals, 81% of nonprofit organizations continue to rely on volunteers to help them run their internal operations and provide services to the community.
We would especially like to single out two demographic subgroups for particular recognition this year:
- SENIOR CITIZENS – The volunteer rate for Americans 65 years and older increased 64% between 1974 and 2015.
- TEENAGERS – Youthful volunteers between the ages of 16 and 19 have increased dramatically between 1989 and 2015. One factor seems to be the growth of school-based service efforts. 86% of high schools organized community service opportunities in 2015, and the Higher Education Research Institute’s survey found an all-time high in the percentage of first-year college students who said that helping others in difficulty was a “very important” or “essential” personal objective.