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Drury study reveals impact of volunteers in the Springfield area

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., June 16, 2016 — Drury University’s Center for Nonprofit Leadership will unveil the results of a new study examining volunteerism in the Springfield area during a news conference at 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 21 at Reed Auditorium in the Trustee Science Center.

The study provides an in-depth look at volunteers in Greene and Christian counties, their service, and how they help organizations accomplish their missions. The 30-page report highlights trends in volunteerism, motives for giving time, and how organizations manage volunteers. One major finding: formal volunteerism (service documented by area nonprofits and institutions) has an economic impact of almost $45 million per year in the two counties.

The study is a follow-up to the Center’s 2014 Nonprofit Impact Report, the first such report ever conducted in Springfield. The Impact Report revealed the sweeping scope of nonprofits in the area, including the fact that about half of all private employees in Springfield work for a nonprofit of some kind.

“Notably absent from our 2014 Impact Report was any significant data on volunteers and how their work supports nonprofits,” says Dan Prater, Director of Center for Nonprofit Leadership. “The new study gives us valuable insight into what is essentially the lifeblood of the nonprofit sector – and it provides clues as to how volunteerism can be strengthened and amplified in our community.”

The study was conducted over a period of two years and tracks a wide spectrum of formal volunteerism, from small organizations that exist almost solely as volunteer endeavors to large organizations such as hospitals that rely on platoons of volunteers for small but crucial tasks. It breaks down volunteerism data by ZIP codes, age, race, gender, education level, and income as well as the number of hours given and types of causes each group is most likely to gravitate toward. This information could help local nonprofits identify ways to better engage different constituencies such as minority groups, millennials or low-income families.

Hard copies of the report will be made available at the news conference. For information on the Center, go to www.drury.edu/nonprofit.

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Media Contact: Dan Prater, Director of the Center for Nonprofit Leadership: (417) 873-7443 or dprater@drury.edu.

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