Economic contribution of volunteering

Cover of The economic value of volunteering reportThe economic value of volunteering in South Australia, 2011 report (PDF 370.1 KB), prepared by Dr Duncan Ironmonger of the University of Melbourne, reveals that South Australia's volunteers are today worth more than 4.89 billion annually. Their hard work and dedication equates to a volume of work equivalent to 107,400 jobs across the State.

The report results show that the economic value of volunteering has also maintained its high value in South Australia over the years. In the previous 2002 report for South Australia – Valuing Volunteering: the Economic Value of Volunteering in South Australia by Dr Duncan Ironmonger – volunteering was calculated to be worth more than $4.98 billion annually, which is consistent with the latest 2006 findings of $4.89 billion.

More broadly, the value of volunteering in SA has more than doubled over the 15 years from 1992 until 2006. Volunteering was worth 2.4 billion to the State’s economy in 1992, growing to $4.9 billion in 2006. An enormous contribution to the South Australian community.

Other interesting results from the 2011 report are:

  • Volunteers provided a volume of work equivalent to 87,000 full time jobs in 1992 rising to 107,400 in 2006.
  • This volunteer effort was equivalent to 13.9 per cent of the paid number of people employed in South Australia in 1992 and 14.2 per cent in 2006.
  • This adds up to several thousands more volunteers than the total number of people employed (13 per cent) in the health care and social assistance industry in South Australia of 68,400 in 1992 and 97,500 in 2006.
  • There has been an 11 per cent rise in the average total hours an individual adult spends volunteering in South Australia over the 15 years from 1992 to 2006.
  • In dollar terms in the 15 years from 1992 to 2006 South Australian adults, on average, increased their donation of volunteering time and associated costs by 86 per cent from $2,156 to $4,020 per annum.
  • Of all the age groups, the 55-64 years group gave the highest contribution of $1,618 per adult in 2008 and $1,754 in 2010.
  • Overall, women in South Australia contributed an estimated $734 million dollars of time and other inputs to volunteer organisations in 2006. In comparison, South Australian men's donation was less, about $616 million.
  • Regional South Australians contributed approximately $408 million to their communities in terms of organised volunteering in 2006. 
  • Volunteering through organisations of those living in Adelaide was estimated to be worth $943 million.

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