The Economic Impact of Volunteers
June 10, 2013
At the end of April, Canadians had the opportunity to recognize and thank the volunteers who support charitable/not for profit organizations. A part of almost every charitable organization are volunteers, those individuals who commit time, energy, their talents ( often also financial contributions ) to supporting the programs and work of a charitable organization. Their support, given without expectation of financial compensation has a significant economic impact.
An Economist's Case for Volunteering
A recent publication by TD Economics provides a commentary on the positive economic impact of volunteer hours. The benefits of volunteering are both tangible in the sense of resources committed on an unpaid basis, and value created in the form of ‘social capital’. This can take the form of productivity from volunteers who return regularly to assist with a NFP program ( they know how to do the work and can offer ideas for improving efficiency ), or helping a person develop skills they can translate into work outside the NFP, or the positive impacts to a community. The bank report illustrates as well, the economic benefits arising from volunteers. In 2010, it is estimated that 13.3 million Canadians volunteered in some capacity. This can be translated as a little over 1 million jobs. If you assume an average hourly wage, the surprising economic contribution from volunteers equates to $50 billion in Canada.
For arts organizations, volunteers are an important resource, please remember to thank them for what they do and don’t hesitate to highlight the value they contribute to your organization’s work and arts mission.