Volunteer Introspective

A Survey of Former Volunteers of the Catholic Volunteer Network

A Survey of Former Volunteers of the Catholic Volunteer Network,” is a national survey commissioned by Catholic Volunteer Network (CVN) with the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University. The survey looked at more than 5,000 men and women in CVN member organizations. Full survey results were released on Friday, November 8, 2013 at the Catholic Volunteer Network’s annual conference in Silver Spring, MD.  

The survey was distributed online earlier this year to former volunteers of Catholic Volunteer Network member organizations around the globe. Survey respondents provided demographic and background information as well as answered questions related to their experience with their volunteer program and lives following their volunteer service. The survey compared these results with the national averages, where applicable.

Some significant study findings include: 

On service -

  • 98 percent of former volunteers said they decided to serve because they "felt compassion towards people in need." The same percentage also believe that their volunteer service experience made them a better person.
  • 95 percent say that they would recommend their volunteer program to others.

On faith -

  • Nearly half (46 percent) of former volunteers attend religious services at least once a week. This is significantly higher than the U.S. poulation (27 percent) and the U.S. Catholic population (25 percent).
  • Almost two in five former volunteers (37 percent) have considered a vocation to ordained ministry or religious life. 27 percent of these respondents have considered a vocation very seriously, and 35 percent say they have considered this somewhat seriously.

On life -

  • More than two-thirds of former volunteers (67 percent) say their volunteer service was either 'somewhat' or 'very' important in influencing their choice of career.
  • Almost half of former volunteers are married (47 percent). Excluding respondents who say that they have never been married, just under one in ten (9 percent) have ever divorced. This is much lower than the corresponding proportion of the U.S. population (31 percent).
  • More than eight in ten responding former volunteers (82 percent) say that they have volunteered time, donated money or property, or both in the past 12 months.    

Click here to read the full report.


For more information about this project, please contact Catholic Volunteer Network's Manager of Outreach and Engagement, Katie Mulembe, at [email protected].

Our special thanks to the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (http://cara.georgetown.edu) for their work on this report, and to the SC Ministry Foundation for their support of this project.