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March 2016 - Civic Engagement in Central Louisiana
This quarter, CDW's Learning Lab looks at important civic engagement indicators in Central Louisiana. Encouraging community involvement and civic participation requires an understanding of current conditions and how our community ranks on state and national platforms in regards to "Civic Life."  
Registering to Vote
Youth are a rising influence in civic life. Many seek to make their communities better by participating in the voting process. Louisiana is a leader in youth voter registration allowing youth as young as 16 to pre-register through the local Registrar's Office or the Office of Motor Vehicles.

CIRCLE  (The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement) at Tufts University  conducts research on the civic and political engagement of young Americans and found that young voters have diverse backgrounds and experiences, which make them a highly targeted demographic for campaigns. Tufts is already reporting higher 2016 youth voter participation than seen in 2008's Super Tuesday Presidential Primary elections. 

Youth voter turnout tends to be higher, particularly when contacted directly by campaigns during competitive races or regarding important legislation.  This means that the youth swing vote can potentially have a major impact during a competitive voting process.

Access the CDW Learning Lab for resources such as CIRCLE and Nonprofit Vote for the latest tools and statistics on youth and how they participate in the civic life of Louisiana.

March 5th is a VOTING DAY 
Important dates for the upcoming Presidential Primary provided by the  Louisiana Secretary of State 
(Click the image below for larger view)

Volunteering to Help Others
Nationally, Louisiana ranks 51st among the 50 states and the District of Columbia with 17.4% of residents volunteering according to the 2014 Volunteering and Civic Engagement data provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service. These results can seem to paint a dismal image of the state of volunteering in Louisiana communities. 

However, according to Volunteer Louisiana's 2015 Louisiana Volunteer Study conducted by Public Policy Research Lab at Louisiana State University, there may be some explanations for the low accounting of volunteer activity:
  • Residents are more likely to volunteer informally (70%) than through formal organizations (48%).
  • When residents engage in formal volunteering, religious organizations are the most frequent recipients of their efforts.
  • Lack of time is the greatest reported barrier to volunteering.

Volunteers provide essential social capital for building healthier communities. However, there is always a need for more "hands on deck" to implement service projects. For nonprofits, having effective recruitment and retention strategies in place can be critical to securing volunteers.  The 2015 Louisiana Volunteer Study found that less than 3% of survey respondents reported using the state-funded  Volunteer Louisiana website, which offers free promotional opportunities for nonprofits and faith-based groups to recruit volunteers for service. 

Nonprofits wanting to engage more volunteers in their cause can take advantage of these opportunities to link with folks who want to make a difference.  For more information on volunteerism, visit our Volunteerism page to see relevant resources in our Learning Lab.
Giving Money to a Cause
The Chronicle of Philanthropy recently presented an interactive tool on charitable giving, Explore How America Gives. This t ool provides insights into the relationships between giving and various demographic and geographical statistics

Data searches showed that charitable contributions in Central Louisiana totaled over $122 million in 2012. 

Nonprofits and volunteers can use this informative tool to better understand giving potential for their causes within local communities based on reported data.
In This Issue
How Engaged is Cenla?

CDW's Learning Lab has researched national and local data on important civic engagement indicators within Central Louisiana. Click on the infographic below to view the current state of civic life for our community. 

You can pin this data resource for others to see or share it with your colleagues.

Upcoming Trainings

Spring Training Calendar

Financial Management Series

Business Choices Part 2 - 
Facility Ownership (Webinar)
Date: Tuesday, March 8
Time: 2 - 3 p.m.

Human Resources Series

Employee Selection Overview
Date: Tuesday, March 8
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Total Rewards and Motivation
Date: Tuesday, March 22
Time: 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Nonprofit Start-up Series

Intro to Finding Funders
Date: Tuesday, March 15
Time: 9 - 11 a.m.

Engaging Community in Your Cause (Webinar)
Date: Thursday, March 24
Time: 11 a.m. - Noon

Engage Community

CDW's Learning Lab  is your local  civic engagement resource center  in Central Louisiana where nonprofits, community groups, civic clubs, neighborhood associations, faith-based groups and concerned citizens can research successful program models and community statistics, identify funding and volunteer opportunities, and stay current on the latest best practice research and nonprofit news. 

By offering these tools to community members who want to make a difference and motivate others to do the same, CDW's Learning Lab is the Community Builder's Workspace.

Visit CDW's Learning Lab which is located on the first floor of The Rapides Foundation building in Downtown Alexandria.

Community Development Works 
1101 4th Street, Suite 101B 
Alexandria, Louisiana 71301

For more info, contact:

Felicia Walker
CDW's Learning Lab Technician 
Community Development Works | 318-443-7880 |
1101 Fourth Street, Suite 101B
Alexandria, LA 71301