Making Iowa the Healthiest State

  • Volunteering leads to greater life satisfaction and lower rates of depression (Harlow and Cantor, 1996; Lum and Lightfoot, 2005).
  • Volunteers who meet a "volunteering threshold" of at least 40 hours of volunteering per year receive significant health benefits (Oman et al., 1999).
  • Individuals who volunteer live longer (Luoh and Herzog, 2002).
  • Volunteering and physical well-being are part of a positive reinforcing cycle (CNCS, 2007).
  • State volunteer rates are strongly connected with the physical health of the states' population (Health Benefits of Volunteering, CNCS, 2007).

Helping Iowa Reach Our Employment Goals

  • States with more civic engagement are better at weathering economic recessions (National Conference on Citizenship, 2011).  
    • Controlling for other factors affecting unemployment rates, states and localities with more civic engagement in 2006 saw less growth in unemployment between 2006 and 2010.
  • States with more civic engagement have lower overall unemployment rates even when controlling for other demographic and economic factors (National Conference on Citizenship, 2011). 
    • An increase of one point in the state’s rate of residents reporting working with neighbors to solve a community problem was associated with a decrease of 0.256 percentage points in the unemployment rate when the economic factors were controlled.
    • An increase of one point in formal volunteering rate (with an organization) was associated with 0.192 percentage points less unemployment, controlling for the eight economic variables. 

Helping Provide Iowa Youth a World Class Education

  • Students who are more civically engaged perform better in reading, mathematics, history, and science, and are more apt to complete high school (Davila and Mora, 2007).
  • Eighty-one percent of dropouts felt that they would have been more apt to stay in school if their school had offered real-world learning opportunities, such as service-learning (Bridgeland and colleagues, 2006).
  • When a child is mentored in a structured relationship at least one hour a week for at least one year (50 hours a year):
    • They skipped half as many days of school as control youth and felt more competent about doing school work.
    • Their academic achievement/grades improved  (Grossman & Garry 1998).

Helping Iowa Improve the Efficiency & Effectiveness of Charitable & Governmental Services

  • Organizations with 10 to 50 volunteers are, statistically, equally as “effective” on all measures of organizational effectiveness (capacity) as their counterparts without volunteers, yet their average (median) annual budgets are almost half (TCC Group, 2009).