Dr Ruth Knight and Catherine Williams
Why might someone want to volunteer? We know that both altruistic and self-interested people volunteer. It’s particularly attractive to those wanting to gain work experience, experience new challenges, feel useful, maintain their health, socialise after retirement, and family tradition, whereby for religious or cultural reasons volunteering is considered something you do to contribute to your community. Companies also use volunteering as a means to demonstrate their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and support for employees’ community interests.
The value of volunteers
Over 3.3 million volunteers are essential to community and charitable organisations who rely on their support to keep administration and operating costs low. It has been estimated that volunteering within Australia has an economic value in excess of $40 Billion. This is due to the unpaid roles that volunteers fulfil, and because volunteer participation is linked to social wellbeing, with those engaged in volunteering more likely to be happy with their sense of community. For this reason the true value of volunteering cannot be adequately measured.
Thanks QUT Business School for posting this great blog!