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Mormon Volunteerism Discussed by Scholars at Pew Forum

Mormon volunteerism got the attention of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. The research and survey group hosted an event titled “Mormons and Civic Life,” during which University of Pennsylvania professor Ram Canaan presented recent findings about Mormon volunteerism and charitable giving in the United States. The Pew Forum has now made the full transcript of this event available online.  

“What did we find?” Canaan asked. “For religious activities, [church-going Mormons] give on average 242 hours; for church-affiliated volunteering to help meet social needs of people in the church, 96 hours; for church-affiliated activities helping people outside the church, 56 hours; and for [volunteer] activities outside of the church totally, 34 hours.

“If you add all the numbers together, you have about 430 hours [annually for Mormons] — and I’m rounding the number — which amounts to 8.2 hours weekly. … This is the level of how much members of the Latter-day Saints Church [The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints] are doing — much more than all other members of American society.”

Along with Professor Canaan, the event featured follow-up remarks by Greg Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, and David Campbell, an associate professor of political science at the University of Notre Dame and the coauthor of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us. The forum concluded with a wide-ranging question and answer session with the event’s speakers.

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