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Find news you can use on a variety of topics; opportunities to raise money, changes in postage rates; statistics and facts that impact volunteer programs; and more.

~ February 2007 ~ Topics

Volunteer Today Needs a Writer
International Page Comes to Volunteer Today
Boomers Plan More Giving
Older Volunteering Increases
Program Effectiveness and Employee Volunteers

Volunteer Today Needs a Writer

Volunteer Today is seeking a writer (a volunteer) for the government page that covers volunteer programs in state organizations or agencies. Articles are needed about three times per year. Want to share ideas with your colleagues, add something interesting to your resume, put in plug for your organization? This is the job for you. For more information contact Nancy Macduff at: editor@volunteertoday.com.

International Page Comes to Volunteer Today

Roxanne Hanson joins the writers of Volunteer Today as the author of our new International page. Many readers of Volunteer Today come from places other than North America. Roxanne's "beat" is volunteering outside that sphere. She is anxious to receive suggestions from our readers on topics of interest. Remember this is a "Gazette" for those who manage volunteers, not a forum to recruit. If you have suggestions for our new page, please drop a note to the editor at: editor@volunteertoday.com and it will be passed on to Roxanne.

Roxanne recently joined Tides Shared Spaces as the Associate Director of the NonprofitCenters Network (NCN) based in San Francisco. There she works to promote healthy, sustainable workplaces for nonprofit organizations through shared infrastructure and services. Prior to joining NCN, Roxanne spent twelve years working in the national and international nonprofit community in Washington, DC. She served as National Delegations Organizer and later Development Manager for Witness for Peace, an organization working to change unjust U.S. policies toward Latin America. Before that, she spent three years supporting volunteer management professionals nationally as Training and Consulting Manager for Points of Light Foundation (POLF). While at POLF she managed an international volunteer exchange program for young professionals and students from Japan and Portugal.

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Boomers Plan More Giving

The Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund completed a survey of projected giving patterns of people in the US. A notable finding of the study was the generosity of the baby boom generation (those born between 1946 – 1964). The study reported that 25% of those in that demographic planned to increase their giving from the previous year. This was an average donation of $6000 to various charities.

The survey was an online interview with 1015 people in the fall of 2006. All age groups said they would donate an average of $5000 to charity in 2006. 53% said they would give about the same as in 2005. Only 10% said they would be giving less.

51% of those surveyed said they gave out of a "feeling of social responsibility." 42% of donors said it feels good to give. 40% citied membership in an organization as the reason for giving, and 34% said tax savings.

Older Volunteering Increases

Volunteering by those 65+ has increased by 64% since 1974 according to a report of the Corporation for National and Community Service, based on data from the US Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the report:

  1. People age 45 – 65 volunteer at higher rates than the previous generation did at that time in their lives.
  2. Teens spend twice as much time volunteering as young people did in 1989.
  3. More teens are volunteering as part of programs run by schools and colleges.

More details from the "Volunteer Growth in America: A Review of Trends Since 1974" is available on the Corporation web site at: http://www.nationalservice.gov.

Program Effectiveness and Employee Volunteers

Corporations are scrutinizing the volunteer programs where employees are sent, according to a recent article in the Chronicle of Philanthropy (January 11, 2007). More businesses are allowing employees paid time to carry out volunteer work. Now they are demanding that charities "prove they are worth the investment."

In the examples given in the article, companies monitored the effectiveness of the charitable organization where volunteers were actually place. They reviewed the support for volunteers and their work. Poor performance by the organization meant the loss of volunteers and/or money.

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