Why is kindness important now?
There is a growing body of research that explores whether kindness is an innate quality within each of us. Is it something we’re born with? Is it something we’re taught? Is it a quality within our communities that perhaps we require, to some extent, to live healthy and fulfilling lives?
The answer to all of the above, as you might have guessed, is yes. Kindness—defined as being considerate, helpful, humane, charitable, or of service to others—is intrinsic to humanity. A baseline level of kindness within the communities in which we all live is a human characteristic that must be actively cultivated if we’re to ensure a good life for ourselves and a better one for future generations.
As we navigate a worldwide pandemic, ever-turbulent news cycles, increasingly divided political ideologies, and financial and environmental uncertainties, kindness in our communities has never been so essential.
This is why, for the first time ever, we at VolunteerMatch have combed through troves of publicly available data, as well as our own internal figures on volunteer engagement across every zip code in the US, and ranked the top 50 most Kindhearted Cities in America in our 2022 Kindhearted Cities Index.
Top 10 Kindhearted Cities
Civil service is at the very heart of our democratic society, for it signifies the valuing of all lives and the collective effort to make circumstances better and more equal for all. If you see your city, click on the card to discover how you can celebrate and serve your community.
All City Rankings
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|Rank||City||Find Volunteering Opportunities|
|1||Portland, OR||Take action in Portland|
|2||Seattle, WA||Take action in Seattle|
|3||San Jose, CA||Take action in San Jose|
|4||Boston, MA||Take action in Boston|
|5||San Francisco, CA||Take action in San Francisco|
|6||Denver, CO||Take action in Denver|
|7||Austin, TX||Take action in Austin|
|8||Virginia Beach, VA||Take action in Virginia Beach|
|9||Chicago, IL||Take action in Chicago|
|10||Madison, WI||Take action in Madison|
|11||Minneapolis, MN||Take action in Minneapolis|
|12||Columbus, OH||Take action in Columbus|
|13||Washington, DC||Take action in Washington|
|14||Pittsburgh, PA||Take action in Pittsburgh|
|15||San Diego, CA||Take action in San Diego|
|16||Milwaukee, WI||Take action in Milwaukee|
|17||Raleigh, NC||Take action in Raleigh|
|18||Los Angeles, CA||Take action in Los Angeles|
|19||New York, NY||Take action in New York|
|20||Sacramento, CA||Take action in Sacramento|
|21||Aurora, CO||Take action in Aurora|
|22||Durham, NC||Take action in Durham|
|23||Dallas, TX||Take action in Dallas|
|24||Norfolk, VA||Take action in Norfolk|
|25||Cincinnati, OH||Take action in Cincinnati|
|26||Charlotte, NC||Take action in Charlotte|
|27||Chesapeake, VA||Take action in Chesapeake|
|28||Plano, TX||Take action in Plano|
|29||Philadelphia, PA||Take action in Philadelphia|
|30||Tampa, FL||Take action in Tampa|
|31||Colorado Springs, CO||Take action in Colorado Springs|
|32||Honolulu, HI||Take action in Honolulu|
|33||Nashville, TN||Take action in Nashville|
|34||Baltimore, MD||Take action in Baltimore|
|35||Atlanta, GA||Take action in Atlanta|
|36||Greensboro, NC||Take action in Greensboro|
|37||New Orleans, LA||Take action in New Orleans|
|38||Orlando, FL||Take action in Orlando|
|39||Long Beach, CA||Take action in Long Beach|
|40||San Antonio, TX||Take action in San Antonio|
|41||Buffalo, NY||Take action in Buffalo|
|42||Indianapolis, IN||Take action in Indianapolis|
|43||Houston, TX||Take action in Houston|
|44||Richmond, VA||Take action in Richmond|
|45||Vancouver, WA||Take action in Vancouver|
|46||Phoenix, AZ||Take action in Phoenix|
|47||Louisville, KY||Take action in Louisville|
|48||Jacksonville, FL||Take action in Jacksonville|
|49||Las Vegas, NV||Take action in Las Vegas|
|50||Providence, RI||Take action in Providence|
Whether you're a volunteer, work in a nonprofit or corporate environment, you can contribute to your city's culture of kindness.
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Workplaces - Empower your employees to give back
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Find meaningful ways to get involved in-person, virtually, by yourself, or with your family, from any ZIP code in the US.
How do you measure kindness?
To determine the kindheartedness of a given city, we considered a wide range of social variables, each of which provides a unique indication of the attitudes, actions, priorities, beliefs, values, or philosophies of a city's populace.
We began by taking the largest 2,500 US cities by population. We looked at each city through the lens of four main social characteristics that, when considered together, convey a comprehensive level of kindness on display by the individuals and communities within that city.
The four social characteristics we looked at are Generosity, Fairness and Equality, Environmental Efforts, and Economic Indicators, each of which comprises 3-5 sources of supporting data.
The data used as inputs into this index were derived from publicly available sources, including government agencies, intergovernmental organizations, and both nonprofit and for-profit organizations, and include raw datasets as well as social indices.
Additionally, we augmented this data with volunteer engagement data from our database at VolunteerMatch, which facilitates roughly 1,000,000 connections every year between nonprofits in need of volunteers and individuals looking for meaningful ways to support their communities.
Sources: 3BL Media, American Lung Association, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Apartment List, Barna Group, Enterprise Community Partners, Glassdoor, Human Rights Campaign, Lawnstarter, New American Economy, Niche, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, WalletHub, VolunteerMatch.
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