Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Obama fulfills pledge to encourage community service

In 2008, candidate Barack Obama promised to encourage community service through online outreach and social networking.

According to Obama's campaign materials, that meant creating "a comprehensive, easily searchable web presence with information about service opportunities, and a full strategy to ensure that people interested in opportunities can find them. This will essentially be a craigslist for service."

More than four years later, President Obama's administration has kept up its efforts on the pledge.

First, we'll note that federal statistics suggest that volunteer work is alive and well under Obama. In 2011, 64.3 million Americans did volunteer work through an organization, up by 1.5 million compared to 2010.

In all, Americans volunteered nearly 8 billion hours, with a majority of Americans volunteering in some fashion and more than one-third actively participating in a civic, religious or school group.

The focus for this effort has been the website, run by the federal Corporation for National and Community Service. The site includes a blog, a search function to find volunteer opportunities by type and location, and ways to share personal volunteering experiences and to post your own project so other volunteers can join it.

The website also directs visitors to a Facebook page and Twitter feed, both of which, like the blog, appear to be updated frequently.

Not every aspect of this lengthy promise is reflected in the website — we didn't find a way to track individuals' hours of service, for instance — but appears to support the vast bulk of a pledge made during the 2008 campaign.

We rate it a Promise Kept.

The promise:

Encourage community service through online outreach and social networking

"Will build on the foundation of sites like and and leverage technology to increase awareness of and participation in service opportunities. There will be a comprehensive, easily searchable web presence with information about service opportunities, and a full strategy to ensure that people interested in opportunities can find them. This will essentially be a craigslist for service. … Users will be able to rate their volunteer experiences, and those requiring service will be able to specify skill sets and time commitments required. Users will also be able to track their hours of service if they choose."

PolitiFact's rating: Promise Kept

About the Obameter

PolitiFact has compiled more than 500 promises that Barack Obama made during the 2008 campaign and is tracking their progress on our Obameter.

We rate their status as Not Yet Rated, In the Works or Stalled. Once we find action is completed, we rate them Promise Kept, Compromise or Promise Broken.

The Obameter Scorecard

Rating Total Percent

Promise Kept 235 46

Compromise 125 25


Broken 119 23

Stalled 3 1

In the Works 28 6

See the latest ratings and rulings at

Obama fulfills pledge to encourage community service 01/22/13 [Last modified: Monday, January 21, 2013 5:43pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Reporter says Republican candidate in Montana body-slammed him (w/video)


    HELENA, Mont. — Witnesses said the Republican candidate for Montana's sole congressional seat body-slammed a reporter Wednesday, the day before the polls close in the nationally watched special election.

    Greg Gianforte, right, receives congratulations from a supporter in Helena, Mont., in March. [Associated Press]
  2. Culpepper falls just short on 'Survivor' finale

    Human Interest

    In the end, Tampa lawyer Brad Culpepper fell just short, and the ex-Tampa Bay Buccaneer lost Survivor: Game Changers and the $1 million prize to Sarah Lacina, a police officer from Iowa.

  3. Families dispute claims that slain Tampa Palms roommates shared neo-Nazi beliefs


    TAMPA — Andrew Oneschuk never liked making small talk on the phone, his father said, but the last time the two spoke, something seemed off.

    Andrew Oneschuk and Jeremy Himmelman lived in a Tampa Palms apartment with Devon Arthurs and Brandon Russell. Oneschuk and Himmelman reportedly planned to move out.
  4. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  5. Steven Souza Jr. snaps out of slump as Rays defeat Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — After Tuesday's shutout loss to the Angels, Steven Souza Jr. stood in front of his locker and talked about his need to contribute to the offense.

    Tampa Bay Rays catcher Jesus Sucre (45) hugs right fielder Steven Souza Jr. (20) in the dugout after his two run home run in the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, May 24, 2017.