A Corridor of Volunteers

I’ve always felt that Iowan’s volunteered more than the average Joes.  Now it’s been proven. 

Iowa Ranks No 6 in the nation for volunteer rates; six Iowa cities make Top 50 List

2008 was a memorable year for many reasons: The tornado, the flood and the tremendous effort of Iowa volunteers. It is another demonstration of what many in this state already know and what people who are new to the Corridor discover after arriving – Iowans are committed, caring and compassionate. Pick a topic, any topic from disasters to arts and culture, from the environment to locally-grown food – Iowans understand service and serving others for the greater good.

Recently, Governor Chet Culver announced Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Waterloo, Council Bluffs/Omaha and Davenport are among the Top 50 mid-sized cities nationwide for volunteer rates, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. Mid-sized cities include all cities with metropolitan areas having populations ranging from 100,000 to 1 million people, the report also included rankings for large metropolitan areas with populations more than 1 million.

All six Iowa cities are among the top 75 in the aggregate (large and mid-sized) rankings.

Nationally, Iowa was ranked No. 6 in state adult volunteer rates, which is the same ranking as last year. However the adult volunteer rate increased from 36.4 percent to 36.8 percent, while the national volunteer rate fell from 26.7 percent to 26.2 percent.

In the annual Volunteering in America: 2008 State and City Trends and Rankings report, four Iowa communities ranked among the top 15 cities. Utah was the only other state with multiple cities in the top 15 with two cities listed.

  • Iowa City ranked No. 2 among mid-sized cities (between 100,000 & 1,000,000 in a metropolitan area) and No. 2 overall (all metropolitan areas more than 100,000) with a volunteer rate of 45.1 percent.
  • Cedar Rapids is ranked No. 8 among mid-sized cities & 9th overall with a volunteer rate of 40.1 percent.
  • Des Moines is ranked No. 10 among mid-sized cities and No. 11 overall with a volunteer rate of 38.8 percent.
  • Waterloo is ranked No. 14 among mid-sized cities and No. 15 overall with a volunteer rate of 37.4 percent.
  • Omaha/Council Bluffs is ranked No. 18 among mid-sized cities and No. 21 overall with a volunteer rate of 35.8 percent.
  • Davenport is ranked No. 48 among mid-sized cities and No. 75 overall with a volunteer rate of 27.4 percent.

Gov. Culver said, “I would like to thank all Iowans who volunteer their time and talents to help their fellow citizens. I am very proud of the fact that each of Iowa’s cities large enough to qualify for the list made the top 50. These numbers really demonstrate what most Iowans already know, that what makes Iowa truly great are the people that reside here and our sense of community. This ranking is further proof that the spirit of service is alive and well in Iowa’s communities.”

This report combines the state and city reports, previously published separately. It also enhances the depth of information available, now providing information on over 150 major U.S. cities and for the first time showing volunteer rankings for mid-size cities.

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