3 Out of 4 Americans Won’t Volunteer: Here’s Why!

Adam J. Cheshier
5 min readAug 14, 2021

According to a recent study, nearly 90% of Americans want to volunteer, however, only 1 in 4 actually do. Where is the disconnect there? Why is it that 75% of Americans don’t volunteer and the number has been gradually decreasing ever since September 11th of 2001?

Since this nation was born on the philanthropic work of others and has largely been built on a value of volunteerism, isn’t it strange we seem to be losing sight of it?

Below, we have given some common excuses we typically hear. This is not to say they’re not true, but rather point to a more positive response. We’re working toward figuring out why so many people don’t find the volunteer opportunities that are right for them.

The Reasons 3 Out of 4 Americans Don’t Volunteer

We hear these excuses all the time. . .

“I don’t even have time to fix my problems.”

We get it — nobody has everything figured out. We’re all working on personal problems. We encourage all of our volunteers to work on personal growth before volunteering themselves. It’s important.

Sooner or later, though, we have to realize that there will never be the ‘perfect time’ to volunteer. At some point, we’ve fixed ourselves, got ourselves in a good place, and that’s as good of a time as any to give back.

“Volunteer schedules aren’t flexible enough for my schedule.”

This is true. Most volunteer schedules aren’t very flexible. And it’s great that you want to give your time, but that doesn’t mean the whole operation can run on your time.

We recommend not giving up. Just because one opportunity doesn’t fit your schedule doesn’t mean they all won’t. Keep looking for other opportunities because that’s all we can do.

“Most volunteer roles don’t interest me.”

Not all causes have to be for you, we get that. If you felt compelled to volunteer for every…

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Adam J. Cheshier

Documenting obscure pockets of the world across long-distance overland expeditions. Recently celebrated 7 years of nomadism. https://linktr.ee/adam.cheshier