The Effects of the September 11 Attacks on Volunteering: An Archival Analysis

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Data from a national online organization that matches volunteers with service organizations places volunteers were analyzed to answer questions regarding the impact of the September 11, 2001, attacks on volunteering in the United States. Results showed that: (a) following September 11, there was a dramatic increase in the number of people who offered to volunteering, and the increase lasted for about 3 weeks; (b) the greatest increase in volunteering occurred for crisis‐related organizations, but volunteering increased significantly for all kinds of charities and service organizations; and (c) the demographic correlates of volunteering changed little in the wake of the attacks. The results are discussed in the context of psychological theories of the factors that motivate prosocial actions.

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Journal of Applied Social Psychology, v. 35, issue 7, p. 1333-1360