Volunteering up

By Ret Boney

The rate of volunteering in the U.S. has grown over the last year, a new study says.

In 2003, nearly one in three people age 16 and older volunteered, up from just over one in four in 2002, says the second annual study by the Points of Light Foundation and the Center for Urban Policy at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

Utah had the highest rate for the second straight year, with roughly half its citizens volunteering, up from just under half in 2002, while Nevada had the lowest rate, with just one in five citizens volunteering.

The foundation credits part of the overall rise in volunteering to the increase in volunteer centers, clearinghouses that help volunteers connect with nonprofits.

Rates of volunteerism were higher in states with more centers than in states were fewer centers.

The study can be viewed at pointsoflight.org/resources/research.

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