Thursday, December 07, 2006

Kids today! They're volunteering, a lot

A comprehensive national study has concluded that volunteerism in the U.S. is booming, including an eye-popping doubling among teenagers compared to the late 1980s. The study also found that folks aged 45 to 64 are volunteering at higher rates than their parents did at the same age, as are senior citizens.

The study's authors think that this growth is driven by "social trends such as the rise of service and service-learning in the schools, higher education levels among adults, delayed child-bearing, and longer life expectancy." I wonder if another factor isn't some maturity in the non-profit sector in terms of how well we recruit and manage volunteers. That's one of the ways in which, in my current role as a foundation officer, I am often impressed with how much smarter young non-profit staffers seem now than my age group was at the same professional level a decade or two ago.

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