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The Corporation for National and Community Service announced the top 50 large cities that have the strongest rates of volunteerism. Minneapolis-St. Paul was first on the list. The report states generally that men provide slightly more hours on average than women, but that a much higher percentage of women volunteer than men. Is that true for your organization? And regarding the report, why do you think the rate for volunteering is higher in Minnesota? Anecdotally, are many people volunteering to help your organization?

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2 Responses to Volunteer Rate

  1. Claudia Nicholson says:

    Well, it has not been my experience that people in this area are the "volunteeringest". I have been having an extremely difficult time attracting volunteers of the traditional kind (which, perhaps, is part of my problem).

    I’ve had contact with a great many people who are looking for temporary, short-term assignments, and I can often accommodate them. I have had volunteers with impressive skills come forward and do wonderful work for me. What I have not been able to find are people who are open-ended in their commitment, willing to do somewhat routine work, and are available on a fixed schedule and will do whatever is needed. Most volunteers also have a sense of what they will or will not do–this cuts both ways. It’s great that they are clear about what they want to get out of the assignment, and I would expect them to perform better because of it, but it limits my flexibility with them. I haven’t yet figured out how to best use those types of people, particularly when what they want to do is not even on my agenda at the moment.

    I’ve been told over and over again that I need to make personal "asks" to get people involved volunteering for us, but since I don’t know our member base like my predecessor, that’s hard for me to do. I keep hoping that people will just show up with the same wishes that I have, but obviously, that’s not working.

    I find it really tough out here!



  2. Mike Worcester says:

    I’ll second Claudia’s concern about the "fixed schedule" people for one simple reason. Most of those people we used to have around here in that vein are either deceased, or of such infirm health that they simply cannot contribute like they used to. Couple that with the fact that many of our local members work out of town, and getting them to put in an afternoon or so becomes quite difficult. In short, demographics are conspiring against us here. Obviously I won’t speak for all organizations; but this has been my experience in the last eight or so years.


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