Written by Shawndra Russell
Our area has a reputation for having a high rate of volunteerism. In fact, a lot of organizations couldn’t operate smoothly—or even exist—without members of the community donating their time and energy.
It’s easy to be a bleeding heart in Western North Carolina, with Buncombe County alone encompassing more than 1,700 nonprofits across just 660 square miles. In fact, nonprofits comprise 10% of all jobs in North Carolina, employing more than 400,000 and paying over $15 billion in wages. And over the past ten years, the economic impact of nonprofits in the state have nearly doubled from $23.5 billion to about $43 billion according to the North Carolina Center for Nonprofits. During the past decade, Asheville was also recognized as one of America’s most charitable cities according to San Francisco finance company NerdWallet, which cited that more than 32% of Ashevillians volunteered and donated on average about 6% of their income in 2013.
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