Americans are known around the world for their generosity. Giving is part of our very nature. Unique among nations, this reputation for caring predates the Declaration of Independence. Americans give generously of their treasure. In 2016, Americans gave nearly $400 billion to charity. In perspective, that is $100 billion more than Americans spent on prescription drugs that same year. But what about volunteering (giving time and talent)?
Studies show that 65% of Americans donate time to charitable causes, averaging $23 per hour for $173 billion in economic impact. Without volunteers, many of our religious, social, and charitable institutions would be lost. You never know what impact your volunteering will have on your local community or even the world.
Different from volunteering your time, talent giving is volunteering the unique and personal talents you have that others may not. Some talents may come naturally to you, others you may have acquired — often over a lifetime of education and training. Their value is priceless to the charity that receives it.
Need more reasons to volunteer?
- Studies show that volunteering just feels good. We call it the “Givers Glow” or the “Helpers High”. This is true for all generations, from Millennials to the Greatest (or Silent) Generation. A study by UnitedHealthcare shows that volunteering positively influences people’s perceptions of their physical and emotional health. Also, additional research shows that community service work leads to lower mortality rates, greater physical capabilities, and improved mental health, particularly among Baby Boomer volunteers.
- “Doing good” makes the world a better place. Every day we’re inundated with disheartening news stories focused on problems we largely cannot influence or control. Volunteering becomes a proactive way of doing something to make the world a better place in ways that can actually help our community and others.
- People volunteer to get involved in something they love — whether that’s helping out at their local church or helping to build or repair a home as with Habitat for Humanity.
- Volunteering can help new people in a community find friends who share their interests and values. It can also polish a resume by helping people develop new skills, gain hands-on experience in a new work environment, and enhance leadership expertise.
Volunteering benefits the causes you love. It also offers opportunities to experience, first-hand, the joy of helping others and the realization that the world is bigger than oneself.