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From the Introduction:

9. Attitudes Toward Giving to and Volunteering for Charitable Organizations

  • Over the last five years, Americans have become more selective in their giving to charitable organizations.

  • Half of Americans now believe that giving one’s time to charitable organizations is more important than giving money. This is especially true among young adults (ages 18 to 34).

  • A strong relationship exists between how much a person is involved in a religious organization and how much that person gives to and volunteers for religious and other charities.

  • Americans give their time and money to non-profits that match their beliefs.

  • People say the reasons they do not volunteer is that they have not been asked, or that they do not know how to get involved.

  • In 2009, 63.4 million Americans, or 26.8 percent of the adult population, contributed 8.1 billion hours of volunteer service, worth $169 billion, using Independent Sector’s 2009 estimate of the dollar value of a volunteer hour ($20.85).

  • In 2009, 1.6 million more Americans volunteered one million more hours of service than in 2008.

  • In 2009, 4.4 million teenagers (ages 16 to 19) dedicated 389.5 million hours of service to communities across the country.

  • Americans give most of their volunteer time to faith-based and educational institutions.

  • Teenagers (ages 16 to 19) are most likely to volunteer for education and youth services organizations.

  • In 2008, 78.2 percent of the nation’s volunteers made a charitable contribution or non-monetary donation of $25 or more in value compared with 38.5 percent of non-volunteers.

  • The number of charities and private foundations registered with the Internal Revenue Service increased by 4.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, reaching a total of more than 1.2 million, according to figures released by the tax agency. The percentage increase was slightly less than the rate that had been reported for the two previous years.

The Boy Scouts of America Environmental Scan 2011 is produced by the Innovation and Research Department of the BSA and updated annually. This material is copyrighted 2011 by Boy Scouts of America and is reproduced on Kids' Money with the permission of the BSA.


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