A new report shows, for the second year in a row, Iowa has the second highest volunteer rate in the country. Iowa finished behind only Utah, with 37.9% of Iowans donating time to help others in 2010.
Adam Lounsbury, with the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, says Iowans devoted a total of 93.4 million hours to volunteering last year – providing more than $2 billion in services to Iowa. “Also, for the first time, Iowa ranked number one in volunteer retention rate, which we think is very important because it means volunteers are staying in their positions from year to year,” Lounsbury said.
The Iowa numbers are part of the annual Volunteering in America report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service. It shows more “Generation X” Iowans, mainly college students, have joined the volunteer effort.
Lounsbury says Iowa ranked fourth in “college student volunteering” in 2010. Five years ago, that demographic ranked 32nd in the country.
Lounsbury noticed that Iowans put in fewer volunteer hours in 2010 compared to previous years, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. “In 2008 and 2009, a lot of volunteers were doing extra volunteer duties during flood recovery, so the number of hours they were putting in went up quite a bit,” Lounsbury said.
Iowa placed four cities in the top 20 rankings for volunteer rates among U.S. cities:
· Iowa City ranked 3rd, with over 50% of residents volunteering
· Des Moines ranked 7th at 40%
· Cedar Falls/Waterloo ranked 11th at 37.6%
· Cedar Rapids ranked 16th at 35.6%