|International Community Foundation Releases Findings on Civic Engagement, Volunteerism, and Philanthropy Among U.S. Retirees in Mexico|
Richard Kiy - International Community Foundation
July 06, 2010
The International Community Foundation released its report "Civic Engagement, Volunteerism and Charitable Giving: Americans Retiring in Mexico's Coastal Communities" to highlight the American commitment to volunteerism, civic engagement and charitable giving among U.S. retirees in Mexico. The report is the fourth of five research studies that will be published by the Foundation.
As baby boomers retire, they represent a tremendous resource to their communities for public service and volunteerism. The U.S. Corporation for National Public Service (CNPS) estimates that the number of volunteers aged 65 and older will increase 50 percent over the 13 year period from 2007 to 2020, from approximately 9 million senior volunteers to over 13 million. Yet, not everyone in that population is expected to remain in the United States. In fact, due to the rising costs of retiring in the U.S., a growing number of retirees are opting to retire overseas, with Mexico as the number one destination.
The International Community Foundation conducted a survey of 840 U.S. retirees over 50 years of age in Mexico's coastal communities to identify trends in this population regarding lifestyle, housing/real estate, health care, and environmental issues, as well as civic engagement, volunteerism and charitable giving. The research series can be accessed electronically at: www.icfdn.org.
Volunteerism and giving to charity is as robust among U.S. retirees living in coastal Mexico as it is among retirees in the U.S. This is especially noteworthy since relatively few of these donors receive a tax deduction for their gifts (15.2 percent). Respondents not only give in Mexico, but continue to give in the U.S. as well. These retirees volunteer because of their strong sense of social responsibility, and desire to make a difference in their communities. They report that their volunteer efforts increase their sense of belonging in Mexico, and contribute to an increased sense of community among local neighbors and friends. Respondents engage in a wide range of volunteer activities, most prominently with education-focused charities, community projects, and the environment.
Key statistics include:
• Nearly 60 percent of respondents volunteer their time to a charitable cause in Mexico and over 29 percent volunteer at least once a week or on a regular basis.
• Almost 70 percent of respondents reported contributing financially to Mexican charitable organizations, with over half (53 percent) reported donating over $100, sometimes significantly more, including over 4 percent that gave over $2,500 annually.
• This is not a win-lose between U.S. and Mexican charities. Over 51 percent of those surveyed continue to contribute to U.S. charities back in their communities of origin.
• Forty-two percent of American retirees surveyed are actively involved in at least one or two Mexican charities in their adopted communities, while another 11 percent are affiliated with more than three.
About the International Community Foundation: The International Community Foundation is a public charity founded in 1990 with a mission to expand the level of charitable giving internationally by U.S. donors with an emphasis on Mexico and Central America. For more information regarding the International Community Foundation, visit www.icfdn.org.
Contact Richard Kiy: rkiy(at)icfdn.org or Anne McEnany: anne(at)icfdn.org