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~ March 2003 ~ Topics

Australian Volunteering Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released numbers on volunteering “down under.”

Here are some highlights from the 1999-2000 report:

  • 4.3 million people over 18 volunteered
  • 558 million hours of time were donated
  • The time donated was the equivalent of 285,000 FTEs (full time equivalent)
  • 31% of the volunteers worked through nonprofit organizations that provided “welfare” type services
  • 24% worked for arts or sporting types of organizations
  • Volunteers service contributed $8.9 billion or 1.4% of the GDP in 1999-2000

For more about the state of volunteering in Australia visit http://www.abs.gov.au. There is also a review of this site at the Volunteer Today page Internet Resources.

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Seeking Volunteer Translators?

Many volunteer programs actively seek people who speak Spanish to help in delivering various types of programs. About 28 million Americans speak Spanish at home. Once that need is met, what is the third most spoken language in the US. It may surprise you to learn that it is Chinese.

Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese) is the third most common language spoken by those living in the US. An estimated 2 million people (.08) regularly speak Chinese at home. This is higher than the 1.6 million who speak French or the 1.4 million who speak German. There are now 1.2 million people who speak Tagalog and 1 million speaking Vietnamese.

The Chinese language speakers are most prevalent in the following metro areas of the US:

  • California
    • San Francisco
    • Oakland
    • San Jose
    • Los Angeles
    • Riverside
    • Orange County
    • Sacamento
    • Yolo
  • Connecticut
  • Hawaii
    • Honolulu
  • Illinois
    • Champaign
    • Urbana
  • Iowa
    • Iowa City
  • Maine


  • Massachusetts
    • Boston
    • Worcester
    • Lawrence
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
    • Northern New Jersey
  • New York
    • Long Island
  • Pennsylvania
    • State College
  • Texas
    • Bryan
    • College Station
  • Washington
    • Seattle
    • Tacoma
    • Bremerton

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Who are Boomers?

Recruiting the “baby-boom” generation, those born between 1946 – 1964 is a challenge. The media treats them as a monolithic group, when in reality they are made up of cohorts. This band of individuals requires closer study, if recruiting efforts are to be successful. AARP commissioned a study of that group in mid-2001.

Here are some facts to ponder as you organize the next recruiting effort:

  • 78 million people fall into the overall “boomer” category
  • 1 in 4 “boomers” belong to an ethnic or racial minority
  • 10 million African-American “boomers”
  • 8 million Latino/Hispanic “boomers”
  • 3 million Asian-American “boomers”
  • 6 million multiracial or “other” “boomers”
  • 49% of White and 37% of Hispanic “boomers” see the family as their number one priority
  • 18% of black “boomers” see family as their top priority
  • For 40% of black “boomers” religion is the number one priority. This compares to 20% for whites and 19% for Hispanics
  • Physical health is cited as most important to 22% of black and Hispanic “boomers,” but only 16% of white

Recruiting material can be targeted to different group’s priorities as a means to attract them to a volunteer position. For example, if your organization has volunteer tasks that require physical labor, create a flyer aimed at those with that interest.

In some cases a partnership with another community organization might be a clever technique to find new volunteers. For example, African-American’s selected religion as their top priority, a partnership with black churches could provide a steady supply of volunteers.

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The Points of Light Foundation has forms available to nominate volunteers and volunteer organizations for the Daily Points of Light Award. It is designed recognize individuals and groups that demonstrate unique and innovative approaches to community volunteering and citizen action, with a strong emphasis on service focused on the goals for children and young people set by the Presidents Summit for American's Future.

The award is given five days a week, excluding holidays. If you would like nomination forms, contact Crystal Hill at 202-729-8000.


By calling 1-800-VOLUNTEER in the U.S., individuals can be connected to their local volunteer center.

This is a national interactive call routing system designed to get volunteers connected to people who can help them volunteer.

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