According to a recent county-wide poll, many Los Angeles County residents have a desire to be active in their community, but don’t know how and don’t feel their contribution will make a significant impact. Thirty-nine percent of residents reported that one of their top reasons for not personally getting involved in their communities is because they are unsure of what they can do, and 31 percent reported that they didn’t feel that they could make a difference.

The poll, commissioned by California Community Foundation (CCF), USC Dornsife and the Los Angeles Times, surveyed 1,500 L.A. County residents on how involved they were in their community and what it would take to get them more involved.

Eighty percent of respondents said they are willing to volunteer more in their communities to build a better Los Angeles County, and 65 percent said they would be willing to donate more money to noteworthy causes. However, only 29 percent described themselves as somewhat active in their community while 34 percent described themselves as not very involved but wished that they were.

Forty-nine percent of respondents said they are too busy and didn’t have enough time to pitch in, and 42 percent reported they just didn’t have enough money to contribute. Poll results further showed that L.A. County residents’ motivations for getting involved in the community tend to be personal and individual rather than community-based.

The poll also found that it’s not only a lack of knowledge that holds people back; it’s a lack of time and motivation.

According to Greenburg Quinlan Rosner Research pollster Ben Winston, 62 percent of African Americans think the county is going in the right direction, whereas overall, only 50 percent of residents think that the county is headed in the right direction. African Americans residents are more engaged in their communities and are more optimistic about the future of the county than residents of other races. They also think community involvement is an effective tool to improve their communities. African Americans in L.A. County assign more responsibility to individuals to improve their own communities rather than the government or institutions.

The survey was initiated by CCF, a philanthropic organization that manages charitable foundations, funds and donor legacies. CCF partnered with the USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times Poll, which regularly conducts opinion polls designed to survey voter attitudes on a wide range of political, policy, social and cultural issues.

“To mark our 100th year as an organization, we want to engage new partners and civic leaders to determine how we can collectively build a stronger L.A. County. The results from this poll will give us the basis to move forward for the next 100 years,” said CCF president and CEO Antonia Hernandez. The findings reveal what actions county residents are willing to take to strengthen L.A., their concerns about the future of the county and what issues require the most attention.

CCF will unveil a summary of the poll results and announce a major funding commitment to improve the quality of life for L.A. communities and families at a town hall meeting on Thursday. The event is designed to spark dialogue about ways to collaborate to improve L.A. County. This event marks the official launch of a host of events and activities celebrating CCF’s 100th year of service to L.A. County.

“We must raise awareness about the complex needs of L.A. County, find common ground across our diverse communities and provide residents with meaningful opportunities to contribute so that everyone is inspired to a play role in building a better region,” said Hernández.