California and activism go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re virtually synonymous terms to most Americans and the do gooder stereotype is one I think a lot of us Californians like to perpetuate. We are one of two states with an official State Office of Volunteering and Service. We’re home to VolunteerMatch, Causes, Fundly, and the hottest names in social entrepreneurship. Even our Hollywood celebrities love to get in on the action, with marquis investors like Ashton Kutcher and Justin Beiber becoming household names in impact investing circles.
There’s a strong presumption that San Francisco blazes the trail on volunteering and activism. Maybe that’s because of the City’s prominent progressive politics or because it’s home to the Haight and Ashbury intersection. Don’t get me wrong, San Franciscans give back a lot, But at GoVoluntr we were happy to learn that our own San Jose community was quietly leading the pack in volunteer commitment (38.7 service hours per San Jose resident vs. 35.6 hours in San Francisco).* To showcase South Bay Do Goodr engagement and to goad a little hometown pride, we’ve put together a quick glance community profile.
· 485,300 volunteers
· 30.6% of residents volunteer – ranking them 11th within the 51 large cities
· 61.4 million hours of service
· 38.7 hours per resident – ranking them 12th within the 51 large cities
· $1.3 billion of service contributed
· Volunteer retention rate of 71.6 percent. (64.5 percent is national average).
San Jose should be proud! It’s amazing to see that those who do volunteer give a lot of their time and do it quite often. Now we’ve just got to motivate and engage more South Bay residents, especially those Millennials, and really step up the game. So share this blog and GoVoluntr on Facebook. You never know, that may be the deciding factor that encourages your friend or family member to get off their butts and give back to the community.
[*] all data provided by the Community for National & Community Service and based on an average using 2008 to 2010 data