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Survey Finds America Divided When It Comes to Giving Back

Published 04-03-07

Submitted by McDonald's Corporation

OAK BROOK, IL - April 3, 2007 - In honor of National Volunteer Month this April, McDonald's® calls attention to the importance of giving back through its support of Ronald McDonald House Charities® (RMH®).

A recent national survey(1) commissioned by the company reveals that less than half of Americans (45 percent) currently volunteer their time to charity. While most people recognize the importance of volunteering, they do not prioritize it in their daily lives. An overwhelming majority of respondents (93 percent) believe that it is important to promote volunteerism among today's youth; yet more than half of Americans admit that they'd prefer to spend their free time reading, watching television or even visiting their in- laws than volunteering for charity (51 percent vs. 8 percent).

The most commonly cited barrier to volunteering is a perceived lack of free time (49 percent). Others say that they haven't found a charity they want to get involved with (16 percent) or that they simply don't know how to get involved (8 percent). The survey also shed light on what inspires Americans to volunteer, with 42 percent stating that they look for a personal connection to a charity and an additional 40 percent citing involvement in their community as a driving force. Nearly one in ten Americans say they got involved in volunteering because their employer encourages it (9 percent).

"RMHC wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for our dedicated volunteers who support us throughout the year by simply donating their time to a local RMHC program," said Marty Coyne, RMHC president and CEO. "Volunteer month is the perfect time to remember those who are less fortunate and find a way to give back to your local community -- everyone can make a difference."

For more than 30 years, RMHC has actively promoted volunteerism in communities around the world, and has a proven track record for getting people involved at all levels and in many different ways. Through its three core programs: Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®, and Ronald McDonald Family Room®, RMHC provides countless opportunities for willing volunteers to get involved.

In addition to individual volunteers, RMHC relies on the involvement of corporate donors including McDonald's Corporation, McDonald's Owner/Operators and countless other organizations across the country. "Volunteering is about giving what you can, when you can," said Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York and RMHC Global Ambassador. "I support Ronald McDonald House Charities. No matter how frantic my schedule gets, I know I can always give back to those children and families who are in need. During volunteer month and throughout the year, I encourage people to look for ways to support charities in their communities."

There are a number of ways in which to contribute time and getting involved is easier than most people think. A few simple ways that people can make a difference through RMHC include:

  • Pick up the phone -- Just make a call to the volunteer coordinator at your local RMHC chapter and ask how you can help with one of their programs, such as Ronald McDonald House, Ronald McDonald Care Mobile and Ronald McDonald Family Room.
  • Be a chef for a day -- Get a group of four to eight people together and call your local Ronald McDonald House or Ronald McDonald Family Room. A nice home-cooked meal can go a long way to helping families who are caring for seriously ill children feel more at home.
  • Bring the movie theater to a Ronald McDonald House/Ronald McDonald Family Room -- Bring a wide variety of movies, pop some popcorn, and invite families to join in the fun.
  • Exercise your green thumb -- Help maintain the garden areas to brighten the space for the families at a local Ronald McDonald House.
  • Getting rid of loose change -- For those who are short on time, simply drop off some change in an RMHC collection canister at your local participating McDonald's restaurant.
Visit for more information on community programs and local volunteer initiatives.

About RMHC®

Ronald McDonald House Charities, a non-profit 501 © (3) corporation, creates, finds and supports programs that directly improve the health and well being of children. Its programs are grassroots-driven to enable the Charity to offer help where children need it most -- right in their own communities. RMHC makes an immediate, positive impact on children's lives through its global network of local Chapters in nearly 50 countries and regions and its three core programs: Ronald McDonald House®, Ronald McDonald Family Room® and Ronald McDonald Care Mobile®. RMHC and its global network of local Chapters have awarded more than $460 million in grants and program services to children's programs around the world. For more information, visit

About McDonald's

McDonald's USA, LLC is the leading foodservice provider in the United
States serving a variety of wholesome foods made from quality ingredients to millions of customers every day. More than 80 percent of McDonald's 13,700 U.S. restaurants are independently owned and operated by local franchisees. For more information about McDonald's visit

(1) The "Volunteerism" Survey was conducted by Kelton Research between March 8th and March 13th, 2007 using Random Digit Dialing of both listed and unlisted numbers. Quotas are set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of the total U.S. population, 18 years of age and older. Results of any sample are subject to sampling variation. The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the results. In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 3.1 percentage points from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.

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