Index: Community Living / Subcategory: Civic Life

Volunteering

Date Updated: 08/16/2011

The August 2011 Corporation for National and Community Service report, Volunteering in America Issue Brief [pdf], summarizes volunteering at the national, state, and city level. The corresponding website, Volunteering in America, includes information on Fort Collins MSA as well as Boulder MSA, Colorado Springs MSA, Denver MSA, Greeley MSA, Pueblo MSA, Colorado, and the United States. The data were collected from a supplement to the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Current Population Surveys by the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Thus the data were organized by MSA or metropolitan statistical areas. Rates for mid-size cities (e.g., Fort Collins MSA) were calculated using a four-year average (2007-2010). The Fort Collins MSA includes the cities of Fort Collins and Loveland.

In 2010, 62.8 million volunteers throughout the United States provided approximately 8.1 billion hours of service to make an economic contribution of $173 billion. The current report provides detailed volunteer information by state, large cities, and mid-size cities. These regions are ranked on different measures of volunteering including volunteer rate and volunteer hours per capita. Volunteer rate represents the percentage of the population that volunteers. Volunteer hours per capita divides the total hours volunteered by the population of the selected region. For the fourth year in a row, Utah had the highest volunteer rate for states, Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN, led large cities and Provo, UT, led mid-sized cities. See the rankings for Colorado and Colorado cities in the corresponding data graph below.

Some community factors have been found to influence volunteer rates. Five key elements have been identified: community attachment, commuting times, socioeconomic characteristics, volunteer retention, and the capacity of nonprofit organizations.

Beyond the benefits to organizations, volunteering also provides individual health benefits [pdf]. Volunteers have greater longevity, higher functional ability, lower rates of depression, and less incidence of heart disease than non-volunteers.

What this chart shows: Volunteer Rates and Volunteer Hours per Capita - Fort Collins MSA, Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Colorado, and the United States, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Volunteer Rates and Volunteer Hours per Capita - Fort Collins MSA, Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Colorado, and the United States, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Data Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

See data table

What the above data tell us:

Of the areas depicted above, the Fort Collins MSA had the highest number of hours volunteered per resident (58.3 per resident). Fort Collins-Loveland ranked 5th out of mid-sized cities in volunteer hours per capita, above that of Boulder, which ranked 10th. Denver ranked 24th in volunteer hours per capita among large cities and Colorado was 12th out of the states. For mid-sized cities, Fort Collins ranked 5th for volunteer rates, just below Boulder at 4th place; Denver was 13th out of large cities; and Colorado was 12th among the states.

What this chart shows: Where Residents Volunteer, Fort Collins MSA, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Where Residents Volunteer, Fort Collins MSA, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Data Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

See data table

What the above data tell us:

The majority of volunteers worked with educational organizations, followed by those volunteering for religious organizations. The remainder worked with social services, sports or arts, health, or civic organizations.

What this chart shows: Top Four Volunteer Activities - Fort Collins MSA, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Top Four Volunteer Activities - Fort Collins MSA, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Numbers will not add to 100 because volunteers often perform multiple activities.

Data Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

See data table

What these data tell us:

Slightly more than a quarter of volunteers in Larimer County performed general labor duties between 2007 and 2010. Less than a quarter of volunteers performed management or professional duties or acted as tutors. However, the largest percentage of volunteers in the County (31.5%) performed fundraising duties.

What this chart shows: Intensive Volunteers (100 Hours or More Annually), Fort Collins MSA, Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Colorado and United States - 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Intensive Volunteers (100 Hours or More Annually), Fort Collins MSA, Boulder, Denver, Greeley, Colorado and United States - 2007-2010 (4-year average)

*Rate calculated on 3-year average from 2008-2010

Data Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

See data table

What these data tell us:

Of the entities shown above, Boulder had the highest percentage of volunteers providing 100 or more volunteer hours per year.

Retired individuals are the main contributors of 100 or more hours a year.

Definitions and Descriptions-

Metropolitan Statistical Areas have at least one urbanized area of 50,000 or more population, plus adjacent territory that has a high degree of social and economic integration with the core as measured by commuting ties.

Volunteer is a person 16 years and older who serves through or with an organization without pay at any point during the 12 month period during September of one year to September of the following year.

Related Information on COMPASS -

Other Resources -

Data Tables:

Volunteer Rate and Volunteer Hours per Capita, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Volunteer Rate

Ranking

Total Number of Volunteers

Total Hours Volunteered (in millions)

Estimated $$ Contribution**

Volunteer Hours/ Resident

Ranking

Fort Collins MSA

42.2 5th 106,900 14.8 $320 million 58.3 5th

Boulder

44.8 4th 133,900 16.2 $350.2 million 54.3 10th

Denver*

29.6 14th 577,850 81.0 $1.8 billion 39.4 24th

Greeley

30.4 35th 64,700 7.1 $153.5 million 33.3 44th

Colorado

32.4 13th 1.3 million 164.0 $3.5 billion 43.6 12th

United States

26.4 n/a 62.2 million 8.1 billion $173 billion 34.3 n/a

*Data based on 2010 only

**Based on hourly wage of $21.62 (Colorado) and $21.36 (United States)

See chart

Return to text

Where Fort Collins Residents Volunteer, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Educational

Religious

Social Services

Sports/Arts

Health

Civic

Other

38.6%

19.7%

16.5%

4.7%

8.2%

4.5%

7.8%

See chart

Top Four Volunteer Activities, Fort Collins MSA, 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Fundraise

General Labor

Professional/ Management

Tutor/Teach

31.5%

28.5%

23.7%

23.0%

See chart

Intensive Volunteers (100 Hours or More Annually), 2007-2010 (4-year average)

Intensive Hours
(100+ annually)

Fort Collins MSA

32.5

Boulder

39.3

Denver*

28.7

Greeley

32.5

Colorado*

32.3

United States*

33.8

*Data based on 3-year average from 2008-2010

See chart