Ever wanted to change the world?
Ever thought that this can be a better planet to live on?
Ever thought of a better education system?
Ever thought of a 100% literacy rate?
Ever thought of achieving all UN Global Goals?
I think you must have.
But have you ever tried to? Not actually.
Do you think that you are alone? Definitely not!
In the general perspective, the concept of volunteering refers to ―rendering of service by choice of or free will for the benefit of the wider community by an individual, group, or institution without necessarily expecting a monetary gain in full knowledge and appreciation of being a volunteer‖. In the last decades, the government has recognised the critical contribution that volunteering makes in building a strong and cohesive society. It has promoted volunteering as the essential act of citizenship, a means for combating social exclusion and an important contributor to the delivery of high-quality public services. This report marshals the best evidence available in three key areas – volunteering impacts on economic development, social inclusion and volunteers as individuals – in order to demonstrate the positive impact of volunteering.
The research project documents the best practices of voluntarism in different sectors, such as social responsible businesses, employee-based voluntary programmes, cooperative projects between non-profits and local government etc.
Based on previous research on volunteerism, we can see that voluntary organizations have impacted society in deep and diverse ways. Volunteering is viewed as a form of social capital with a particular emphasis on promoting social inclusion, assisting marginalised social groups, relating to other forms of civic participation and unpaid work, creating a civil society, social action, community-building and community renewal. The character of cooperation in the sector with all kinds of other key social players such as government, business, communities and people as individuals has given the voluntary sector strong power to affect society as a whole. In conclusion, we found that:
Volunteering enhances the social connections between different sectors, builds bridges for governments, enterprises and employees.
Volunteering makes a significant contribution to the global economy. Volunteering helps build a more cohesive, safer, stronger community, increase the social network between communities and neighbourhoods.
Volunteering makes people more active in civic engagement and concerned about citizenship.
Volunteering delivers some part of public services, encouraging more people to work in public section, helping raise the educational performance of youth, push forward sustainable development, solve environmental problems and respond to pressing issues like climate change.
Volunteering also has positive effects on volunteers as individuals, increases self- esteem, enhances various skills and capacities, expands career paths and makes people healthier, physically and mentally.
The calculation of the economic value of volunteering is important because it can:
emphasize to government and policy makers that voluntary work makes a significant contribution to the economy
encourage people to become volunteers and make a difference by demonstrating the economic benefits of volunteering and
inform the media and the community about the value of volunteer time
Voluntary organisations are key players in the economy in their own right as employers and service providers, adding to the overall economic output of a country and reducing the burden on government spending. The sector also plays a key role in creating the conditions where the economy can flourish by investing in people through training, boosting skills and improving the employability of people on the margins of the labour market.