The Economic Value of Volunteering

The economic value of volunteering has almost doubled since 2010 according to a new report from The Benefact Group. Their latest report on the value of giving – which includes both volunteering and donations – shows that in 2022 in the UK the annual value of volunteering was £18.7 billion.

The value of charitable donations was down, to £4.3 billion compared to £9.3 billion in 2021, which is likely due to the cost-of-living crisis, but still shows that the UK public love to support good causes.

The analysis by The Benefact Group also suggests that individuals, as well as wider society, benefit enormously from giving, with UK adults saying that both volunteering and donating to charity improve their life satisfaction and have a positive impact on their mental wellbeing; people who volunteer are significantly more likely to report that they are optimistic about the future than those who don’t do any volunteering at all.

The Benefact Group is owned by The Benefact Trust, which is a charity that funds, guides, and supports the work of churches and Christian charities. Each year they produce a report looking at the economic impact of giving, whether through volunteering or donating, as well as the impact on our collective wellbeing.

And the findings are not surprising. The voluntary, community, faith, and social enterprise sector has known for a very long time just how much of a positive impact these things have on people. We see it daily, and volunteering, as well as connecting more widely with community activities, is even recommended by health professionals as a way to improve both mental and physical wellbeing.

Time is often referred to as the most precious resource that anyone has and giving some of that to help someone else feels amazing. There is a lot of research that shows just how much doing things for others improves our own happiness levels, our satisfaction with our lives, and our wellbeing, and it also contributes massively to the economy. The really important thing is how it can make you feel though, so if you haven’t tried it, perhaps you should, you never know how it might change your life.