Recommended Websites and Research Reports

Volunteering in America
Perhaps one of the most fun and interactive research tools in the area of volunteerism is Volunteering in America. This website allows the user to examine volunteering rates in small and mid-size cities across the US, to compare rates across geographic areas and to access data according to the demographic characteristics of the volunteer. This website is an official website of the US Government and utilizes Current Population Survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau for the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Sponsored by the Corporation for National and Community Service, this website provides more than 20 different reports on volunteering and national service. Information is presented in highly digestible prose with data to support findings. Topics range from the health benefits of service to mentoring to national service.

The Institute for Volunteering Research
A highly credible organization based in the United Kingdom, “The Institute for Volunteering Research aims to develop knowledge and understanding of volunteering in a way that is relevant to practitioners and policy makers. This site provides an overview of the work of the Institute as well as detailed summaries of research that it has undertaken.”

Independent Sector
One of the most significant contributions currently made by the Independent Sector is its effort to place a dollar value on service. This website provides an annual financial assessment of “The value of volunteer time is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Independent Sector takes this figure and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.”

Urban Institute
In 2003-2004 the Urban Institute, under the direction of Mark Hagar undertook a comprehensive survey of public charities and religious congregations to examine their volunteer management practices and their capacity to engage volunteers. A series of reports written by Hagar and Jeff Brudney provided significant new information. These studies include:

  • Volunteer Management Capacity in America's Charities and Congregations: A Briefing Report (Policy Briefs/Volunteer Management Capacity Study)
  • Volunteer Management Practices and Retention of Volunteers (Policy Briefs/Volunteer Management Capacity Study)
  • Balancing Act: The Challenges and Benefits of Volunteers (Policy Briefs/Volunteer Management Capacity Study)