POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Gov. Cox signs executive order on service and volunteerism

Oct 18, 2023, 12:07 PM | Updated: 12:12 pm

People outside of the St. George food bank. Gov. Spencer Cox signs executive order on service and v...

Gov. Spencer Cox talks to members of the media outside of the Utah Food Bank in St. George on Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. (Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G. Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Tuesday, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox announced two new executive orders to promote “service and volunteerism statewide.”

The first one, Executive Order 2023-08, encourages state agencies to “organize a department-wide service project and give employees two hours of administrative leave to participate.” This affects 24,000 state employees over the next year. 

The second, Executive Order 2023-09, adds a “community service component to businesses seeking economic development incentives from the state.” This means the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity is starting to require businesses that apply to receive economic development support, to provide at least 20 service hours per high-paying job per year for the duration of the incentive.

“In Utah, we have more volunteers per capita than any other state in the nation, and as governor, I want to do everything I can to keep it that way. By providing opportunities and incentives to our state employees, our students and the private sector, we can improve mental health, build community, and ensure service and volunteerism remain a defining part of Utah culture.” – Gov. Cox

Utah volunteerism

Gov. Cox emphasized service and volunteerism as being a core part of his administration as well as Utah’s culture, and he is not wrong. Earlier this year, the Utah Commission on Service and Volunteerism said Utah ranked as the national leader in volunteer service.

Americorps’ latest data shows that in 2021, over 999,000 Utahans volunteered through an organization. The same report said this work contributed $2.7 billion in economic value. Nationally, over 23% of Americans formally volunteered with an organization with an estimated economic value of $122.9 billion.

The Utah Nonprofits Association 2023 report said Utah is home to more than 11,120 nonprofits. According to the report, Utah has the lowest number of nonprofits per capita in the nation, with a majority operating on budgets under $500,000. Yet, the state is able to do more than the rest of the country with less.

Utah records show that most of the nonprofit organizations in the state serve education, health and human services, arts and culture, and philanthropy.

Where to volunteer

If you are looking to volunteer, UServeUtah has teamed up team up with nonprofit, faith, and government organizations nationwide to share volunteer needs and opportunities with the following organizations.

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Gov. Cox signs executive order on service and volunteerism