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Why and Why Now?

recent data has shown that Cincinnati isn't volunteering at the rate of its peer cities.

If you looked at data published in past years by the Corporation for National and Community Service* (CNCS), you would have seen Cincinnati proudly positioned with the 13th highest volunteerism rates in the nation for large US cities.

Unfortunately, the most recent rates tell a very different story. Between 2011 and 2015, Cleveland took our place at #13 in the nation, while we fell 15 spots to #28.

Among our peer cities, we are almost alone in this loss. While volunteerism rates in the Cincinnati region have decreased by 4.3% over the last five years (compared to the national average of 1.9%), 4 out 5 of our peer cities’ rates have significantly increased.

The economic consequences of these regional trends are disturbing enough, not to mention the loss of overall benefits that a culture of volunteerism brings toward a kinder and more just community.

We are directly addressing this volunteerism decline through our efforts at Inspiring Service, and we are partnering with local nonprofits and nonprofit supporters to explore the potential reasons for this gap within our regional ecosystem.


*Source: City Rankings by Volunteer Rate. (n.d.). Retrieved June 28, 2017, from

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