Thursday, June 18, 2009

Tough Economic Times Affect Voluntarism

Tough economic times are producing both positives and negatives for the volunteer programs of area nonprofits, according to a recent survey conducted by United Way of Central Indiana’s (UWCI) Volunteer Center.

More than 56 percent of local nonprofits that responded to United Way’s survey report an increase in the number of volunteers compared to a year ago. At the same time, more than a third (35.2 percent) reported a drop in volunteers.

Almost 40 percent of respondents reported that budget cuts in the past year meant they had to turn to volunteers to fill administrative and client service roles previously assigned to staff.

In late May and early June the survey went to 167 nonprofits that use United Way’s Volunteer Solutions Web matching service, including human services, environmental, arts, education and other agencies. United Way of Central Indiana serves six counties and includes Indianapolis.

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