Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Can Volunteering Help Us Weather Tough Economic Times

by Virgil R. Carter

Is there a connection between volunteering and economic resilience?  A report recently released by the National Conference on Citizenship (NCoC) concludes that “states with higher levels of civic engagement are more resilient in an economic downturn.”  The report identifies five measures of civic engagement which appear to protect against unemployment and contribute to overall economic resilience: 

·            Attending meetings
·            Helping neighbors
·            Registering to vote
·            Volunteering
·            Voting

The report calls on community and business leaders to use these findings to inform a public discussion of how civic health can help improve the economy.  Would these measures help improve the health and well-being of your non-profit organization?

“Of these five civic health indicators, working with neighbors was the most important factor in predicting economic resilience, as an increase of one percent in neighbors working together to solve community problems was associated with a decrease of .256 percent in the unemployment rate. Public meeting attendance emerged as the second most important factor, followed by volunteering and registering to vote as top important predictors of unemployment change.”

“As the national debate turns to jobs and restoring civility, our leaders need to understand that one answer for our political and economic woes begins with restoring America’s tradition of service and civic engagement,” said John Bridgeland, Former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council and Current National Advisory Chair, NCoC. “It not only gives communities a boost, it may also lessen the effects of the economic downturn.”

For a full copy of the article, go here:  http://www.ncoc.net/unemployment-release

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