American International Volunteering Time Valued at $3.5 Billion

Paul Joss sent me this press release that the BBC put out in conjunction with the Hudson Institute – interesting figures below, what do you make of them? $3.5 Billion in volunteering time!

American International Volunteering Time Valued at $3.5 Billion

WASHINGTON—Based on an analysis of data from the U.S. Census Population Survey’s (CPS) annual volunteering supplement and Independent Sector’s annual calculation of volunteering time, Americans contributed an estimated $3.5 billion in volunteer time to the developing world in 2007, according to the recently released Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances published annually by the Hudson Institute’s Center for Global Prosperity (CGP).

This year’s Index reports that in 2007 more than one million Americans traveled abroad to volunteer, contributing $2.7 billion in volunteer time. Additionally, 341,000 volunteers contributed their time to international organizations in the U.S. amounting to $780 million.

“This recent data from the Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances reinforces what we are seeing and what we’re working for,” says Paul Joss, Managing Director of the Building Bridges Coalition, a consortium of 210 member organizations working to increase the number, quality and positive impacts of international volunteer efforts.  “As more people volunteer their time towards global causes, the size and impact of this force for good becomes enormous.  There are so many well-run programs that opportunities for international volunteering exist for nearly anyone who is interested.”

Americans are finding many different ways to contribute their time and energies to worthwhile causes overseas.  Many Americans volunteer through international volunteer organizations and faith-based mission agencies that connect volunteers with grassroots organizations in the developing world and manage all of the necessary trip logistics.  Students are taking service-oriented alternative spring break trips and volunteering during summer break. Corporate America is also involved.  According to a recent survey of 43 Fortune 500 CEOs by the Committee Encouraging Corporate Philanthropy (CECP), 42 percent of respondents had at least one International Corporate Volunteering (ICV) program.

The Index is the sole comprehensive guide to the sources and magnitude of private philanthropy from U.S. foundations, corporations, private and voluntary organizations (PVOs), volunteers, colleges and universities, and religious congregations to the developing world. This year’s Index finds that these sources contributed a total of $36.9 billion in 2007, over one and one-half times U.S. government aid for the same period.

For more information about the Building Bridges Coalition efforts to increase international volunteering, visit www.buildingbridgescoalition.org.  To view the new Index of Global Philanthropy and Remittances, visit Hudson Institute’s CGP on the Web at http://www.global-prosperity.org.

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Hudson Institute is a nonpartisan policy research organization dedicated to innovative research and analysis that promotes global security, prosperity, and freedom.

The Building Bridges coalition is a consortium of leading international volunteering organizations, corporations, colleges & universities and government agencies working collaboratively to double the number of people volunteering overseas by 2010.  The Building Bridges Coalition is a project of the Brookings Institution’s Initiative on International Volunteering & Service.

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