Citing a Corporation for National and Community Service survey, the Knoxville News Sentinel is reporting that Tennessee ranks 39th among the states in volunteering. Nashville did a little better, coming in at position number 22 among 50 large cities in volunteer rate and 30 out of 50 in volunteer hours.
The largest category of volunteering in Nashville was understandably religious. 44.1% of those who volunteer do so through their faith communities. One of the lowest categories was civic, coming in at 4.2%. But compared with other Southern cities, that rate is slightly higher than most, although Atlanta came in at 4.6% and Orlando came in at a whopping 9.3%.
Even given Nashville's comparatively high rating for civic volunteering, I'm surprised it's not higher. Not only have we seen an explosion of neighborhood associations that engage Metro government, but most of the statewide advocacy groups on several issues as well as the state political parties are based here.