Surprise! Report Shows Gen X Leads Volunteer Participation

Aug 16, 2011 2:15 PM ET

We often hear how Millennials are the most conscious consumers and that Boomers transition from careers to civic engagement. But according to a new federal report on volunteer trends, the oft-overlooked Gen Xers are becoming an important factor in social good efforts. 

Generation X (those born 1965-1981) shines in the latest release of “Volunteering In America,” the annual report on service and volunteering from the Corporation for National and Community Service. In 2010, overall volunteer participation levels edged lower while the number of hours served nationally stayed flat – a likely indication that the most involved volunteers are putting even more time and energy into giving back. And Gen Xers are the only generation volunteering more hours than years past.
Inverse Is True
Why the uptick, when everyone else is slacking? The rise in Gen X service hours reflects the arc observed in the volunteer lifecycle, where individual involvement increases as they feel more connected to communities via home ownership, having children and more stable employment – the exact life stage many Gen Xers are currently in. (Check out the VolunteerMatch group discussion about this on LinkedIn.) 

Read more on the Volunteering is CSR blog...


About VolunteerMatch
VolunteerMatch is a national nonprofit dedicated to strengthening communities by helping great people and great causes to connect. Our award-winning online service,, makes it easy to find a way to make a difference by location, expertise, or availability. VolunteerMatch provides many of the nation's most recognized businesses, campuses and organizations with Web-based solutions to facilitate and track volunteer engagement at local and national levels. As the #1 ranking for "volunteer" on Google and Yahoo!, the VolunteerMatch network regularly welcomes more than 190,000 visitors each week and has become the preferred volunteer recruiting service for tens of thousands of participating nonprofits across the country.


Casey Brennan