Newsletter – July 2007

2007 National Conference on Volunteering and Service

The Power of We logoConvened by the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Points of Light Foundation, the National Conference on Volunteering and Service is the largest annual gathering of volunteer leaders in the United States.

Approximately 3,000 attendees came together for three days of education, training and networking. Joined by leading federal and state officials and executives from the business community, attendees learned how to expand the ranks and effectiveness of America’s 61 million volunteers in tackling tough social problems.

The conference featured 130-plus workshops, high profile speakers including former President George H.W. Bush, six volunteer service projects and an exhibit hall. Through a generous donation by Disney, CaliforiaVolunteers was an exhibitor at this year’s conference.

With the national conference as a backdrop, on Monday July 16, Hands On Network and the Points of Light Foundation announced plans to merge their two organizations. The merger will transform the landscape of the volunteer sector, creating a network of 370 affiliate organizations covering 83 percent of the United States.

The new organization will be led by Michelle Nunn, co-founder and CEO of Hands On Network. Ray Chambers, a philanthropist, will serve as the new organization’s chairman of the board during the integration period. Neil Bush, CEO of Ignite! Learning in Houston and son of former President George H.W. Bush, will serve as vice chair. The merger takes effect on July 31 and will officially launch on October 1, 2007.

Volunteering in California: 2006 City Rankings

Volunteer raking gardenSan Francisco has the highest percentage of volunteers; Sacramentans volunteer more hours per resident

A new study released on July 9, 2007, by the Corporation for National and Community Service shows the percentage of residents who volunteer in six largest metropolitan areas across the state vary significantly – from just over 20 percent to just under 30 percent.

Based on data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this report presents volunteer rates from the past three years and rankings of the 50 U.S. major metropolitan areas as well as average volunteer hours served annually per resident in each city.

The San Francisco Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes the east and north bay areas, had the highest volunteer rate in the state at 29.6 percent, followed closely by San Diego at 29.2 percent. San Jose and Sacramento fell toward the middle at 27.4 percent and 26.5 percent respectively. In the Los Angeles Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Los Angeles and Orange Counties, 22.3 percent of residents volunteer; and in the Riverside area, only 20.6 percent participate in volunteer activities. Statewide the volunteer rate was 25.5 percent.

The city in California with the highest number of volunteer hours per resident was Sacramento, with 43.3 hours served, ranking 13th in the nation. Los Angeles had the lowest number of hours per resident in the state at 30.5, ranking 44th.

The report also found that, on average, suburban and rural areas across the nation had volunteer rates around 29 percent, whereas urban areas averaged 24 percent. Communities with higher home ownership rates tend to have higher volunteer rates and those with longer commute times tend to have lower rates.

To view the report, click here.

Use the links below to view the one page profiles for the six Metropolitan Statistical Areas in California:

San Francisco, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Riverside

CaliforniaVolunteers releases California’s Aging Opportunity Report

Photo of seniorReport Provides Action Steps to Increase the Number and Impact of Older Californians Who Serve Their Communities

On July 5, 2007, CaliforniaVolunteers released California’s Aging Opportunity, Building a Legacy of Good Works by Older Californians, which highlights the significant, yet untapped civic resource of older Californians to make lasting positive impacts to their communities and the state.

By the year 2020, one in five Californians will be over the age of 60, up from one in seven today. A significant gap exists between the number of older adults who express interest in service and the number of those actually volunteering. California’s Aging Opportunity outlines a series of actions steps necessary to engage older Californians in service and improve the quality, quantity and impact of volunteer opportunities.

Some recommended action steps are already underway, including the launch of the California Volunteer Matching Network and soon to be launched marketing campaign. Other actions steps include weaving senior service into state programs, providing incentives for volunteering and expanding the capacity of the nonprofit service sector.

California’s Aging Opportunity comes on the heels of a recent report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service entitled The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, which demonstrates a clear connection between volunteering and improved health of older Americans. The report shows a lower incidence of heart disease and mortality rate amongst volunteers as well as greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression.

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