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Abstract

This article reports the findings of a study of perceived barriers to volunteering to formal organizations by nonvolunteers. We examine the types of barriers, their frequencies, and their relationships with individual-level sociodemographic characteristics of nonvolunteers. Data from a 2001–2002 national survey conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are analyzed using multiple regression techniques. Contrary to general expectations, only three barriers—lack of time, lack of interest, and ill health—are fairly common. Furthermore, as expected, different social class groups identify different types of barriers. The article concludes with a discussion of the theoretical implications of the findings (for example, how indicators of social and cultural capital affect access to volunteer opportunities) and practical implications concerning recruitment of volunteers.