Volunteering in America Resources

Through its studies on Volunteering In America, the Corporation for National and Community Service continues to deliver increasingly detailed reports on the trends and habits in volunteering across the country, in order to better understand who is serving in our communities and how, when, and why they serve.

The Corporation is providing specific resources to support the findings of the Volunteering in America reports. The resources on this page have been developed to help you increase the capacity of your organization, company, program, or community to effectively engage volunteers of all ages. This page includes resources developed for previous Volunteering in America reports.

  • Volunteering in a Tough Economy
    As we look at an economy facing continued challenges, particularly with diminished resources in organizations that provide needed services to communities, we must take a look at untapped resources that can be solutions for better organizational solvency. It will be very important for organizations to consider how to engage people to become volunteers as well as how to retain them over time.
  • Building a Service Strategy in your State or City
    Examining challenges created by the state of the economy that communities face across the country, many Mayors and Governors are calling on their constituents to volunteer their service. This section takes a look at how some have responded to the call for service.
  • Developing a More Diverse Volunteer Base
    "Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. a soul generated by love." – Martin Luther King, Jr. This quote embodies the goal of Developing a More Diverse Volunteer Base, ensuring that engaged volunteers reflect the make up of the general population throughout the country. In this section you will have an opportunity to view how some affinity groups have created strategies on recruiting and retaining a more diverse volunteer base.
  • Volunteer Self-Organizing – Resources to help individuals plan and manage projects to bring about positive community change
  • Recruitment – Strategies to recruit new volunteers, including target populations such as Boomers and students
  • Retention – Tips for retaining volunteers
  • Human Capital Strategies – Innovative techniques for nonprofits during these difficult economic times, including the use of pro bono services, other skilled volunteers, and volunteer leaders
  • Cost-Effective Volunteering – Practical tips for maximizing resources during an economic downturn
  • Voluntourism – Resources for understanding the growing trend of combining service and vacation 

Volunteering in a Tough Economy

Service Strategy in your State or City

  • State Service Plans: This sampling of state service plans provides strategies used in some states working with national service programs and collaborative partners to assess community needs and work together to develop and implement plans that address those needs.
    - VA (PDF)
    - NC (PDF)
  • Blueprint for Change: Designed to help city leaders develop a comprehensive service plan and a coordinated strategy focused on placing volunteers with established organizations that are addressing critical needs in the community.
  • Cities of Service: Cities of Service efforts focus on “impact volunteering” — volunteer strategies that target community needs, use best practices, and set clear outcomes and measures to gauge progress.

Developing a More Diverse Volunteer Base

Volunteer Self-Organizing



Human Capital Strategies

Cost-Effective Volunteering


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