Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Twin Cities ranked #1 for volunteerism!

The Corporation for National and Community Service released their annual Volunteering in America report today, which highlights Minneapolis-St. Paul as the number one ranked large metro area for volunteerism in the country. The state of Minnesota ranks 3rd in the country with 38.4% of residents volunteering, for a total of 1.6 million volunteers giving 169.7 million hours of service this past year. Most Minnesotans volunteered with religious organizations (34.1%), followed by educational institutions (26.3%) and social services (13.5%). Of particular interest to @MinnesotaRising, Minnesota ranked 4th in the nation for volunteerism amongst both Baby Boomers and the Millennial generation. However, Minnesota Baby Boomers volunteered at a rate of 42.9% in the past year, whereas only 29.6% of Minnesota Millennials volunteered. The National Conference on Citizenship highlights these two special generations for their potential for civic participation, given their sheer sizes (77 million Baby Boomers and 82 million Millennials nationwide) and their current statuses in life stages suited to high levels of civic engagement. Their 2008 Civic Health Index: Beyond the Vote finds:
"Compared to the Baby Boomers when they were young adults, Millennials are somewhat more likely to volunteer. They are less likely to vote and to participate in face- to-face civil society, as reflected by questions about attending meetings, belonging to groups, and attending religious services. Declines in face-to-face engagement occurred before the widespread use of the Internet; but clearly, today’s youth have new opportunities for online interaction. Overall, if we compare Millennials to previous generations when they were young, the Millennials appear more engaged than Generation X and engaged in different ways from the Boomers."
Minnesota has a rich history of civic engagement and innovation that continues to thrive today, thanks in large part to long-standing community organizations like the Citizens League and the League of Women Voters of Minnesota. As Minnesotans continue to build on this impressive legacy by engaging all generations in supporting our statewide community, the true measure of success will be an educated workface, vibrant economy, and engaged citizenry in the years to come.

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