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Iowa Remains at the Top of the Charts for Volunteering

For more information contact:

For more information contact:


Adam Lounsbury, Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service




Iowa Remains at the Top of the Charts for Volunteering

Iowa ranks 2nd in America in Volunteerism


August 9, 2011(Des Moines) – Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced today that for the second year in a row, Iowa has achieved the second-highest volunteer rate in the country with 37.9 percent of Iowans devoting time to help others in 2010.  That surpasses the 2008 rank of fifth, according to the recent Volunteering in America report released by the Corporation for National and Community Service.


“Volunteers are an amazing resource, and no state has more devoted or more passionate volunteers than Iowa,” said Governor Branstad.  "I am honored to tout this recognition on behalf of all Iowans who are making a tremendous difference in our state."


Iowans devoted a total of 93.4 million hours to volunteering in 2010 and provided more than $2 billion in services to Iowa.  Additionally, Iowa ranked first in volunteer retention rate, meaning that more volunteers are staying in their volunteer opportunity.  Good volunteer management is one of the biggest factors driving the volunteer retention rate and is a testament to the strength of Iowa charities and communities that utilize volunteers.  Volunteer retention rates help drive volunteer rates by reducing the annual volunteer loss while maintaining the annual gains of recruitment.  Thus, it is no surprise that four of the top five volunteer retention states are also in the top five in volunteer rate.  Since Governor Branstad created the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service in 1994, Iowa has made persistent efforts to build and support a local infrastructure to support volunteerism and strong volunteer management.  Nearly 150,000 more Iowans volunteer today than they did in 1989 prior to the creation of the commission.


The spirit of Iowa’s volunteerism is exemplified in individual cities as well.  Iowa has more cities (four) than any other state in the top 20 of overall rankings.


Additional highlights from the report include: 

·         Iowa City has the third-highest volunteer rate nationally for cities, with over 50 percent of residents volunteering

·         Des Moines has the seventh-highest volunteer rate nationally for cities, with 40 percent of residents volunteering

·         Cedar Falls/Waterloo has the 11th highest rate at 37.6 percent

·         Cedar Rapids has the 14th highest rate for midsized cities (16th overall) at 35.6 percent

·         “Generation X” Iowans and “Older” Iowans both ranked second for their age demographics, all other age demographics ranked in the top 10

·         The percentage of Iowans mentoring youth has increased from 17th to fourth in the nation over the last few years which has been a priority of the commission


For more information on volunteering in Iowa or to view the the complete Volunteering in America report, go to





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