In June 2018, Independent Sector and Stanford Social Innovation Review launched Civil Society for the 21st Century, an article series featuring some of today’s leading thinkers and practitioners exploring current issues in civil society.
America’s nonprofit sector is growing rapidly, even as volunteerism declines. How long are those opposing trends sustainable?
It’s more than just a matter of service delivery, according to Susan Dreyfus, president and CEO of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. Volunteerism “has the power to unite people of different races, ages, religions, and sexes together for a common cause.” It is the cement that helps bind civil society together.
Nonprofits and governments should work together to reverse the decline in volunteerism, Dreyfus writes, citing several promising examples. And there might even be a public health benefit to all of this, thanks to a little-known link between volunteerism and a life-threatening condition that affects 65 million Americans.