Monday, December 16, 2013

Kansas ranks fourth in volunteering

TOPEKA, KAN. – Volunteers in Kansas demonstrated their commitment to improving their communities in a variety of ways in 2012 and earned the #4 ranking among the 50 states, up from the #7 ranking in 2010 and 2011, according to the Volunteering and Civic Life in America (VCLA) report released today. 

More than 807,000 Kansans served more than 82 million volunteer hours, which is valued at $1.5 billion.

This year’s report found that one in three Kansans (36.4%) volunteered at an organization in 2012. This surpasses the national average of one in four Americans volunteering and further demonstrates that volunteering remains at the heart of Kansas.

Kansans spent a majority of their time volunteering for religious (35.5%) and educational (25.2%) institutions; the top volunteering activities included collecting/distributing food, fundraising, general labor, professional skills, and mentoring.

The Kansas Volunteer Commission supports a variety of volunteer organizations through its programming and funding opportunities.  In 2012, the KVC granted over $1.3 million to 11 organizations to leverage over 150 AmeriCorps members in addressing community needs.

In 2013, 10 organizations received $1.3 million to leverage 170 AmeriCorps members.  Many AmeriCorps members assist community organizations in leveraging and managing volunteers. 

In addition to AmeriCorps funding, the KVC awarded over $135,000 to eight volunteer-connector organizations as part of its Volunteer Generation Fund grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service.

These funds are meant to strengthen and expand the efforts of volunteer centers in serving their community’s volunteer needs.

Collectively, these eight organizations leveraged over 9,000 volunteers, who served more than 87,000 hours of service worth almost $2 million.  In 2013, the KVC increased its Volunteer Generation Fund awards, to grant out over $140,000 to nine volunteer-connectors.

As part of its mini-grant funding opportunities in 2012, the KVC awarded over $17,000 in mini-grant funds to Kansas nonprofits and Kansas Mentors mentoring program partners to support a variety of volunteer projects, resulting in the recruitment and support of 2,800 volunteers. 

As more Kansans volunteer, momentum continues to build around volunteering and the role it can play in addressing critical local issues.