Economic Contribution of Volunteers

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Volunteer Canada provides information about the value of volunteers’ time, citing a TD Economics resource, An Economist’s Case for Volunteering: volunteering creates $50 billion in annual economic value for Canadians”, which includes the following information:

To illustrate the economic value of volunteering in more concrete terms, let us quantify the sum for Canada. In 2010, more than 13.3 million people completed volunteer work. Counting up the hours rendered, these Canadians devoted 2.1 billion hours to their activities. This time served is equivalent to 1.1 million full-time jobs, or 8% of full-time jobs in Canada. The average hourly wage rate for 2012 is $24. This figure lines up with the Independent Sector’s approximation of the hourly value that volunteers provide. It is used by charities and non-profit organizations in communications about the importance of volunteering. Although individual volunteers may earn more during their regular jobs, they may not use these highly-paid skills in their volunteer activities. In turn, the average wage is a reasonable benchmark to use for our exercise. Based on the hours volunteered and an imputed average hourly wage, the economic value of volunteering in Canada is in the ballpark of an astounding $50 billion each year. This figure, though undoubtedly impressive, is likely a conservative estimate that does not include any capital investment, nor improved skills and attitudes. Put simply, $50 billion represents a lot of value. It is too large to simply dismiss. It is equal to about half of Statistics Canada’s estimation of the value add of the non-profit sector in Canada. As a share of the national economy, this figure represents slightly less than 3%. The economic value of volunteering is approximately the same size of the entire Manitoba economy. If the value of volunteer work were a company, it would be in the league of the largest firms in Canada listed in the S&P/TSX Composite Index – on the basis of market capitalization – sandwiched between corporate giants like Suncor Energy and the Canadian National Railway.

Source:  Volunteer Canada
Retrieved from: https://volunteer.ca/value  and https://volunteer.ca/content/td-economics-economists-case-volunteering

Contribution of Volunteers to Niagara Long-Term Care Homes

Niagara Region Seniors Services reports annually on volunteer activities in Regional seniors’ programs and services. The value of volunteers’ contributions extends beyond the number of hours and dollars, as they provide an invaluable contribution to the quality of life of residents and clients.

Volunteer Contribution to Niagara Region Long-Term Care Homes, 2014-2016
2014 2015 2016
Number of volunteers 870 685 638
Volunteer hours 75,645 62,981 64,005
Monetary value of volunteerism at minimum wage Over $832,000 $708,500 $729,657
Number of students completing placements 470 483 856
Monetary value of student placements at student minimum wage $740,251 $655,568
Funds raised through donations $229,017 $211,950 $234,531
Total value of contribution (volunteer hours, student placements, fundraising) Over $1,000,000 $1,660,701 $1,619,756

 

Source: Niagara Region. Public Health and Social Services Committee Minutes.
2016 data retrieved from: https://www.niagararegion.ca/council/Council%20Documents/2017/phssc-agenda-march-21-2017.pdf
2015 data retrieved from: https://www.niagararegion.ca/council/Council%20Documents/2016/phssc-agenda-march-29-2016.pdf
2014 data retrieved from: https://www.niagararegion.ca/council/Council%20Documents/2015/phss-agenda-march-31-2015.pdf

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