How volunteers get their start

January 11, 2007

About 43 percent of volunteers became involved with their main organization—the organization for which the volunteer worked the most hours during the year—after being asked to volunteer.

Volunteers by how they became involved with main organization for which volunteer activities were performed, September 2006
[Chart data—TXT]

Most often they were asked by someone in the organization; about 27 percent of volunteers became involved this way. About 14 percent of volunteers started after being asked by a relative, friend, or co-worker. The person doing the asking was a boss or employer in about 1 percent of all cases; in another 1 percent of cases, the person was someone else other than those already mentioned.

About 41 percent of volunteers became involved on their own initiative; that is, they approached the organization.

These data are from a supplement to the September 2006 Current Population Survey. Find out more in "Volunteering in the United States, 2006" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 07-0019. Data are based on the period from September 2005 to September 2006.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, How volunteers get their start on the Internet at (visited September 26, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.