Fresno State students, faculty and staff provided more than 1.44 million hours of service to the community during the 2017-2018 academic year setting a new campus record for engagement and service-learning, according to the University’s “Service Impact on the Community” report.
The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Fresno State, which released the report, announced the estimated economic impact of service at $40.3 million.
“This makes the ninth year in a row that Fresno State has provided over 1 million hours of service annually,” said Chris Fiorentino, director of the center. “We at the Richter Center are proud to help foster the culture of service that makes this level of commitment to our community possible. However, the real credit for the 1.44 million hours of service goes to the thousands of students, faculty, staff and community partners who make this all possible.”
This year, 18,135 Fresno State volunteers gave 1,436,069 hours of service through a variety of campus clubs and organizations, through internships, work study and service-learning courses, and by volunteering in community events like Valley Children’s Hospital Kids Day. During the 2016-17 academic year, volunteers provided 1,386,449 hours.
According to the Independent Sector, a national nonpartisan network of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and professionals, the 2017 value of an hour of volunteer time in California was $29.09. This figure was multiplied by the number of service hours reported and combined with the financial support students received in the programs for the total economic impact of about $40.3 million in 2017-18.
“While this figure is impressive, the actual impact on those who served and those who benefited from the service is probably much greater; both financially and in non-financial ways,” Fiorentino said.
The Richter Center is responsible for coordinating the University’s community engagement and service-learning efforts. In August 2007, Jan and Bud Richter pledged to provide $3.5 million to establish the center on the Richters’ belief that it would “instill in students a lifelong character trait of giving to the community.”
The center works closely with other Fresno State programs and departments also involved in community engagement such as the Humanics Program at Fresno State, Community Service Scholarship Program and the Scholars in Service Program. Additionally, the Richter Center partners with about 200 community benefit organizations across the Central Valley.
For more information about the Richter Center, call 559.278.7079.