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Maine Volunteerism Rates Announced in Volunteering in America Report

July 30th, 2009

Volunteering in America, the most comprehensive data ever assembled on volunteer trends and demographics, found that America's volunteers dedicated more than 8 billion hours of service in 2008, worth an estimated $162 billion.

“In this time of economic distress, we need service and volunteering more than ever to build a new foundation for growth,” said First Lady Michelle Obama. “This report suggests that Americans are responding to the hardship around them by reaching out in service to others, giving their time when they cannot give their money. It reminds us of the generosity of the American spirit, and challenges us to work harder to make service part of the daily life of every American.”

The fact the volunteering held steady during a time of high unemployment and foreclosure rates was welcome news to nonprofit and government leaders, who are facing increasing demands at a time of dwindling resources. Previous research would suggest that volunteering drops during an economic downturn.

Maine Volunteer Rates Compared to the Northeast:

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Maine Statistics:

  • In addition to the 339.6 thousand adults in Maine volunteering in 2008, an extra 38,418 individuals worked with their neighbors to fix a problem or improve a condition in their community but did not serve through an organization. In Maine this type of volunteering is often referred to as “neighboring.”
  • Even with the economic crisis, the volunteer rate in Maine remained relatively constant, at 31.8% in 2008.  While the neighboring rate increased by more than 10,000 volunteers.
  • Maine ranked 2nd in New England in terms of the number of volunteers.

  • Maine ranked 7th in the nation for volunteer hours donated per resident.
  • Maine volunteers contributed 51.3 million hours of service in 2008 with an economic contribution valued at $981.7.

  • In Maine, more than 9,200 people participate in national service (AmeriCorps,VISTA, Senior Corps and Learn and Serve) each year. This year, the Corporation for National and Community Service will commit more than $5,900,000 to support Maine’s national service initiatives.

Where People Volunteer in Maine (2006-2008):

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The research is based on annual surveys of approximately 100,000 individuals collected by the U.S. Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service. The VolunteeringInAmerica.gov website contains nine years of data on volunteering, and rankings, volunteer trends and demographic information for every state. Visit www.VolunteerMaine.org for more information on Maine’s rankings.

The Maine Commission for Community Service builds capacity and sustainability in Maine's volunteer sector by funding service programs, developing volunteer managers, raising awareness of the scope and impact of the sector, and encouraging an ethic of service.  To learn more about the Maine Commission for Community Service visit our web-site at www.maineservicecommission.gov.