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A groundbreaking new report from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) provides the most compelling empirical evidence to date establishing an association between volunteering and employment.
The study, “Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment: Does Volunteering Increase Odds of Finding a Job for the Out of Work?” finds that unemployed individuals who volunteer have 27 percent higher odds of finding a job than non-volunteers. The relationship between volunteering and employment holds stable regardless of a person’s gender, age, ethnicity, geographical area, or job market conditions.
“Many of us in the volunteer sector have long felt volunteering gives a boost to those looking for work, but we’ve never had solid research to back it up,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS. The federal agency used 10 years of data from the U.S. Census Bureau and analyzed a nationally representative sample of more than 70,000 individuals 16 years or older who were looking for work. The report examines their volunteer and employment status over two years to determine whether there was a relationship between volunteering and securing a job.
The report’s finding of a 27 percent increase in odds of employment was statistically significant. The association between volunteering and employment remained consistent across each year of the study period and varying unemployment rates, suggesting that volunteering may provide an advantage regardless of economic conditions. Importantly, the relationship was strongest among individuals without a high school diploma (51 percent increase in odds) and individuals who live in rural areas (55 percent increase in odds).
“This research suggests that people with limited skills or social connections – particularly those without a high school education – may see an extra benefit to volunteering as a way to open doors and level the playing field,” said Dr. Christopher Spera, director of evaluation and research at CNCS.
Prior research has shown that volunteering can increase a person’s social connections and professional contacts (social capital) and skills and experiences (human capital), two factors that are positively related to employment outcomes. In addition, some workers may see volunteering as a possible entry route into a new field or organization where they would like to work.
Volunteering News to Use: Promising Practices in National Service and Military Family Programs June 10, 2013Posted by servicecorpsnews in Volunteering News to Use.
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In 2011, the Corporation for National and Community Service funded a field assessment of almost 100 AmeriCorps State and National, AmeriCorps VISTA and Senior Corps grantees operating Veteran and Military Family (VMF) programs, including ALA Call to Service Corps project sites. The study collected critical baseline data on current VMF activities and identified programs and practices with the potential for success.
Corporation staff, colleagues and other subject matter experts have developed a series of webinars that highlight the findings of this study and explore what they mean to you as a national service program or project.
Though most of the webinars in this series have already taken place, the slides and resources from each are available on the Nation Service Knowledge Network, here: www.tinyurl.com/obu9job.
You can also register for the final webinar in to series, to be held Wednesday, June 12 at 1 p.m. EST by visiting www.tinyurl.com/c8gp8ll.
Volunteering News to Use: Points of Light’s 2013 Conference on Volunteering and Service March 28, 2013Posted by servicecorpsnews in Volunteering News to Use.
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Points of Light’s Conference on Volunteering and Service is the world’s largest convening on volunteer service and will be held in Washington, D.C., from Wednesday, June 19, through Saturday, June 22, 2013.
At a time when so much divides us, service is common ground. It is a uniting force that can pull us together in common cause, in pursuit of the ideals upon which this nation was founded and toward which citizens continue to strive. Washington, D.C., is a wonderful place to explore what it means to be united in service.
The Conference on Volunteering and Service is on point with the evolving civic landscape. There is no better time to bring together the brightest and most cutting-edge entrepreneurs for social change.
For scheduling and registration information, visit www.volunteeringandservice.org.
Sign Up and Serve! December 14, 2012Posted by servicecorpsnews in Volunteering News to Use.
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Points of Light recently launched Sign Up and Serve, a new and innovative way to find volunteer listings, create service opportunity listings and manage volunteer networks. Sign Up and Serve is intuitive to use, and provides a single spot for an organization’s service opportunity management needs.
In the words of Points of Light: “Americans from communities across the country, including veterans and military families, are stepping up to provide support to our service members, veterans, their families and families of the fallen.
Points of Light is teaming up with many military-serving organizations to provide citizens with meaningful ways to serve WITH and FOR the men, women and their families who have served this great nation. Points of Light believes that service is the bridge between the American military-civilian divide and that through service WITH and FOR our military community, we will become a better, stronger and more united nation.”
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In honor of Veterans Day 2012, Fellows, staff members and supporters from The Mission Continues will serve alongside volunteers from Target, Goldman Sachs and Disney at community service projects across America. By uniting veterans, civilians, active-duty servicemembers and military families in service, each project will seek to pay tribute to the sacrifices of our nation’s veterans. The projects will take place over the course of the first two weeks of November, centered on the weekend of Veterans Day.
Projects will be in the following cities:
Jersey City, N.J.
Kansas City, Mo
New York, N.Y.
Salt Lake City
San Antonio, Tx.
Santa Monica, Cal.
St. Louis, Mo.
Volunteers of all ages and skill sets are welcome to attend. For additional information about a particular service project, please email email@example.com.