About 1.5 million New Jerseyans perform some kind of volunteer work. That translates into 22.4 percent of the state’s residents donating $3.4 billion in service in 2009, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s annual report on Volunteering in America. Despite this, New Jersey came in 49th out of 50 states and the District of Columbia in a ranking of volunteering for the past three years—ahead of only Nevada and New York. Despite the economic downturn—or maybe because of it—the rate of volunteerism was up all across the country, the biggest jump in the past six years. Utah had the highest rate, at 44.2 percent followed by Iowa (37.8 percent), Minnesota (37.5 percent) and Nebraska (37.4 percent). The Garden State’s top volunteer activity was fundraising, which at 28.4 percent is higher than the national average of 26. 6 percent. The Volunteering in America report is a joint project of the Corporation, the U.S. Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.