South Dakota Ranked 4th for Volunteering

The annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America study, released today by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), ranked South Dakota fourth in rates of volunteerism. This is up from the state’s ninth-place ranking last year.

According to the survey, 35.3 percent of SD residents volunteered last year, giving 23.26 million hours of service at an estimated value of $630 million.

“This is the fourth year in a row that South Dakota’s volunteer numbers have risen,” said Susie Ryks, Volunteer Services Director with the Helpline Center. “It’s nice to see that statistics support what we experience through the calls and online contacts we receive, that people are looking for — and finding — opportunities to help out their community.”

Nationwide, 62.6 million adults, or approximately one in four Americans, volunteered through an organization last year, giving nearly 7.8 billion hours, valued at $184 billion.

South Dakotans’ highest ranking volunteer activity is fighting food insecurity, with 27% of respondents involved in collecting, preparing, distributing or serving food. Fundraising and general labor were the next most reported categories, with tutoring and mentoring youth rounding out the top five.

“With Volunteer Centers in the Sioux Empire, the Black Hills, and now Brookings, we watch for this study each year,” said Ryks. “It’s both a testament to the spirit of volunteerism that we know exists in our state and a guide to help us connect those who want to serve with local opportunities.”

The study highlighted the following volunteering trends for South Dakota.

  • 240,933 volunteers
  • 40.8 volunteer hours per capita
  • 23.26 million hours of service
  • The state ranked 3rd for percentage of Baby Boomer volunteers (37.8%), 2nd for Millennials (30.4%) and 3rd for veterans (33.1%)
  • 44.6% of the state’s college students volunteered, for a 2nd place national ranking
  • Sioux Falls’ volunteer rate was 33.2%, ranking 18th among mid-size cities.

To see the entire report, visit For more information on local volunteerism, dial 2-1-1 or visit