The Real Reason 75% of Americans Don’t Volunteer

Raising hands to volunteer.Our country takes great pride in the role volunteering has played in our history. We believe that volunteers are virtuous, kind and essential to the health of our society. It is why the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, for instance, is celebrated as a national Day of Service. We are a country that loves volunteering.


We are also a country where three out of four people don’t do it.

According to the Corporation for National & Community Service 62.6 million Americans volunteered in 2013. That is about 25% of the adult population, and if you happen to be keeping score, the lowest rate in a decade. Yes, you can view this as a glass 1/4 full. But given how important volunteering is, I’m not alone in thinking, “We can do better.”

Click here to read Greg’s full article about why the majority of Americans don’t volunteer. It will probably surprise you. It will definitely inspire you.

People Make the Difference: Explore a Year of Impact

Everyone should have the chance to make a difference – wouldn’t you agree?

That’s why VolunteerMatch makes it easier for people to connect with the causes they care about.

Explore the 2013 VolunteerMatch Annual Impact Report

To take a look at how far we have come, it is a pleasure to share with you VolunteerMatch’s Annual Impact Report – a graphic look at people and causes, like your organization, who are making a difference.

Last year was an important time for us: we re-launched with a one-of-a-kind recommendations engine, overhauled our workplace group management services, ventured onto your mobile phone, and pushed our entire technical infrastructure into the cloud.

And it worked. The improvements helped us power almost a billion dollars’ worth of volunteer service in 2013. And together, we can do even more.

Don’t worry, we’ll dive into each of the sections of this awesome infographic in detail, but for now, enjoy exploring the impact we made together last year – and join in as we create impact in 2014 that exceeds all expectations.

Click here to explore the 2013 VolunteerMatch Annual Impact Report!

2012 VolunteerMatch Impact Report: Working Hard, Connecting Harder

It was my pleasure today to officially unveil VolunteerMatch’s 2012 Impact Report — a snapshot of the data we use to measure the size, scope and impact of the Web’s largest volunteer engagement network, and to make sure we’re helping to connect you with the volunteers you need.

Check out VolunteerMatch's 2012 Impact Report

We have never pushed harder to make it easier for good people and good causes to connect, and it is exciting to see how much of it is working.

Last year we added cause area Search Filters to make it easier for volunteers to find what they’re looking for. We launched YourMatch, an all-new platform for successful workplace engagement.

We updated our API Suite and attracted developers from Microsoft to NYU to invent new ways for people to get involved. And we expanded our online Education & Training program to share real-world insights and best practices with thousands of nonprofit and corporate social responsibility professionals.

Together we are eliminating barriers that keep us apart and finding new ways for nonprofits, businesses and individuals to strengthen their communities.

Did any of it make a difference to you or your community? Check it out and let us know – we’d love to read your comments!

Not Everything that Happens in Vegas Should Stay There

Governor Sandoval Congratulates Phyllis James of MGM Resorts International

Just over a week ago I had the pleasure of flying to Vegas and staying at the Bellagio to — of all things — participate in Nevada’s Volunteer and Corporate Engagement Summit and attend the Governor’s Points of Light Awards Luncheon. Nevada Volunteers organized the event and brought together a great group of folks to celebrate and support volunteering in the Silver State.

Kaira Esgate from Reimagining Service set the stage for a productive day by outlining four principles for effective volunteer engagement and highlighting data from the TCC Group that  has found nonprofits with a strong volunteer program consistently outperform their peers on all measures of organizational effectiveness.

I was asked to  speak to trends shaping the future of volunteering and during the process of preparing my thoughts discovered something unexpected hidden in the data behind Vegas’s reputation for the kind of fun you’d rather not share with your Mom.

Much to my surprise I found that thanks to the combined efforts of our partners at Nevada Volunteers, NV Energy and MGM Resorts International network activity in Nevada grew 50% last year and Vegas lept ahead in the national rankings, defying all stereotypes, to become the 10th busiest city on the web’s largest volunteer engagement network.

The Governor and all the people I met on Friday, clearly have their sights set even higher, but they are off to a strong start and I see no reason why Nevada’s remarkable progress in 2012 should have to remain a secret to anyone. Go Nevada!

The CVA Credential: Excellence in Volunteer Administration

Do you lead volunteer engagement in your organization? Have you considered professional certification?  Did you know registration for the 2012 CVA (Certified in Volunteer Administration) exam ends March 1st?

As the President of VolunteerMatch and former Board Chair of the CCVA it is my pleasure to congratulate the CVA class of 2011 and welcome our 2012 candidates.

The CVA is not for everyone, but if you have a minimum of of three years experience and are ready to demonstrate your knowledge, skill and competence in the field of volunteer engagement, I invite you to learn more about earning this mark of excellence.

The CCVA is dedicated to promoting and certifying excellence in volunteer engagement to advance the capacity of communities to effectively engage volunteers. The CVA itself is awarded to candidates who are able to demonstrate successfully their knowledge and ability to apply skills required for competent volunteer management through a process of testing and peer portfolio review.

More than 1,100 talented leaders have already earned their CVA and the numbers are growing every year.

If you’d like to learn more about enrolling this year please visit and review the 2012 CVA Candidate Handbook.

Registration is $265, but if you are a registered VolunteerMatch member it is only $225 if you hurry. Registration ends Thursday, March 1st, 2012.

I am proud to support the CVA, recognize the distinguished individuals it attracts and wish the class of 2012 the best of luck.