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Scarborough Identifies the Top Local Markets for Adults Who Have Done Volunteer Work in the Past 12 Months
Nov 27, 2012
New York, NY
Market Highlights

In recognition of the generous expression of goodwill from communities across the country since Hurricane Sandy, local market consumer insights company Scarborough has analyzed the top local markets, demographics and media consumption of the 27 percent of American adults who have participated in volunteer work, volunteering programs or volunteering organizations in the past 12 months.

While Volunteers from all across the United States have contributed their time to relief efforts for varying crises, certain local markets are more saturated with Volunteers than others. The top local markets for these do-gooders include Salt Lake City, UT (42%); Minneapolis, MN (34%); Des Moines, IA (34%); Portland, OR (34%) and Grand Rapids, MI (33%). Though not every market has such robust Volunteer numbers, even the bottom markets have large portions of their adult population doing their part: El Paso, TX (21%); Bakersfield, CA (21%); Providence, RI (20%); Harlingen, TX (20%) and Miami, FL (20%). For the full list of highest and lowest local markets for adults who have participated in volunteer work in the past year, see below.

Who are America’s Volunteers? The generational breakdown of Volunteers is as follows: Millennials* (20% of adults who participated in volunteer work in the past 12 months), Generation X* (27%), Baby Boomers* (34%) and the Silent Generation* (18%). Volunteers display a sense of initiative in their professional lives; Adults who are self-employed or small business owners are 12 percent more likely than all U.S. adults to be Volunteers. While 43 percent of Volunteers are employed full-time, they are 16 percent more likely to hold white collar employment and 34 percent more likely to have a college degree or higher.

Volunteers are not only generous with their time; they are financially charitable as well. Volunteers are 84 percent more likely than all U.S. adults to have contributed to an arts/cultural organization in the past 12 months, 61 percent more likely to donate to an environmental organization and 60 percent more likely to contribute to a political or social care/welfare organization in the same time period. Fifty-seven percent of Volunteers contributed to a religious organization in the past year.

How can you reach out to Volunteers? Fifty-six percent of Volunteers read the local news section of their newspaper and 38 percent read the international/national sections. Volunteers are 17 percent more likely than all U.S. adults to tune in to HGTV, 16 percent more likely to watch PBS and 13 percent more likely to watch TLC. The top radio formats for Volunteers are Adult Contemporary (26% of Volunteers listen), Pop Contemporary (26%) and Country (25%).  

DMA % of Adult Residents Who Did Volunteer Work in the Past 12 Months
Salt Lake City, UT 42%
Minneapolis, MN 34%
Des Moines, IA 34%
Portland, OR 34%
Grand Rapids, MI 33%
San Francisco, CA 33%
Seattle, WA 33%
Green Bay, WI 32%
Spokane, WA 31%
Kansas City, MO 31%
Cincinnati, OH 31%
Austin, TX 31%
Washington, DC 30%
Milwaukee, WI 30%
Raleigh, NC 30%
Atlanta, GA 30%
Orlando, FL 30%
Columbus, OH 30%
Baltimore, MD 29%
Honolulu, HI 29%
St. Louis, MO 29%
Charlotte, NC 29%
Richmond, VA 29%
Indianapolis, IN 29%
Tuscon, AZ 29%
Denver, CO 28%
Greenville, SC 28%
Philadelphia, PA 28%
Flint, MI 28%
Harrisburg, PA 28%
Colorado Springs, CO 28%
San Antonio, TX 28%
Syracuse, NY 28%
Lexington, KY 28%
Chattanooga, TN 28%
Pittsburgh, PA 28%
Buffalo, NY 28%
Rochester, NY 28%
Norfolk, VA 27%
Toledo, OH 27%
Tulsa, OK 27%
Cleveland, OH 27%
Detroit, MI 27%
West Palm Beach, FL 27%
Boston, MA 27%
Dallas, TX 27%
Sacramento, CA 26%
Birmingham, AL 26%
Hartford, CT 26%
Greensboro, NC 26%
Albany, NY 26%
Memphis, TN 26%
Oklahoma City, OK 26%
San Diego, CA 25%
Roanoke, VA 25%
Little Rock, AK 25%
Nashville, TN 25%
Louisville, KY 25%
Knoxville, TN 25%
Mobile, AL 24%
Albuquerque, NM 24%
Jacksonville, FL 24%
Tampa, FL 24%
Chicago, IL 24%
Los Angeles, CA 23%
Houston, TX 23%
Phoenix, AZ 23%
Fresno, CA 23%
New York, NY 23%
Fort Myers, FL 22%
Las Vegas, NV 22%
New Orleans, LA 22%
El Paso, TX 21%
Bakersfield, CA 21%
Providence, RI 20%
Harlingen, TX 20%
Miami, FL 20%

*Scarborough defines the different American generations as Generation Y (age 18-29), Generation X (30-44), Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (65+).

Continue the conversation or share your opinions with Scarborough via Twitter by reaching out to @ScarboroughInfo.

This data is from Scarborough USA+, Release 1, 2012 - Scarborough/GfK MRI Attitudinal Insights Data. Scarborough measures 210,000 adults aged 18+ annually across a wide variety of media, lifestyle, shopping and demographic categories.

About Scarborough: 

Scarborough (, brings the local market to life like no other company. Our consumer insights reflect the shopping patterns, media usage behaviors across multiple platforms, and the lifestyle trends of American adults. Media professionals, marketers and agencies use Scarborough insights to: create a smarter, more informed marketing mix; conduct market-competitive analyses; plan event sponsorships and partnerships; geo-target prospective consumers; increase product sales, grow customer loyalty and for overall marketing strategy. Scarborough’s core offering of individual local-market studies spanning 120+ markets (including Puerto Rico). 77 local markets are MRC accredited. Other products and services include Analytics (customized research and express analysis) Sports and Hispanic insights and attitudinal data to help our clients address the why behind consumer behavior.  Scarborough surveys more than 210,000 adults annually, and studies more than 2,000 consumer categories. Scarborough has been in business for 40 years and is a joint venture between Arbitron Inc. ( and The Nielsen Company (