Research and publications

Economic Value of Volunteering in Victoria

Compiled by University of Melbourne researcher Duncan Ironmonger, the report examines and analyses surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Time Use and Voluntary Work, and also data on volunteering from the Census of Population and Housing.

In 1992, volunteering was worth around $7.1 billion to the Victorian economy and grew by over 130% to $16.4 billion in 2006.

Economic Value of Volunteering in Victoria 2012 (1.15 MB)

Demographics overview

Statistics from the Australian Bureau Statistics (Voluntary Work, 2010) showed that over 1.5 million Victorian’s, or 35.6% of the population, participated in formal volunteering. Of these;

  • Participation rates are greater in regional Victoria where 45.1% of people volunteer their time, compared with city residents at 32.6%
  • Across the state, those most likely to volunteer were aged 45-54 (44.3%) and 55-64 (41.3%). However in regional Victoria, an average participation rate of 46.5% is seen for all volunteers aged 25 and over
  • Females are more likely to volunteer their time, but the gap between male and female participation rates is closer in the city (3.2%) than in regional Victoria (8.8%)

The top 5 types of organisations volunteered for were:

  • Sport and physical recreation (38.3%)
  • Welfare/community (22.1%)
  • Education and training (20.6%)
  • Religious (19.8%)
  • Parenting, children and youth (15.6%)

The types of organisations change slightly when broken down into city and regional volunteers:

  • Sport and physical recreation was the top organisation type for both areas
  • Volunteers from regional Victoria were more likely to volunteer in Welfare/Community organisations with 26.5% participation, compared to 18.3% in the city
  • Those in Melbourne were more likely to volunteer in Religious organisations at 25.7%, compared with 16.9% in regional Victoria
  • Also in the city, the ‘Other’ category with 17.8% pushes Parenting, children and youth out of the top 5