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The Underrated Resource: The Economic and Social Value of Volunteer Work

Volunteering is an activity where individuals donate their time, skills, and energy to help others without any expectation of reward. It is a selfless act that has a significant impact on society.

Volunteer work has many benefits that go beyond helping those in need and can have a positive impact on the volunteers themselves. In this article, we will explore some of the main benefits of volunteering, as well as the common types of volunteer work.

The Value of Volunteer Work:

The dollar value of volunteer time is an essential aspect of volunteering, which should be considered in all volunteer programs. According to the Independent Sector, a non-profit organization, the average value of a volunteer hour in the United States is $28.54.

This means that for each volunteer hour contributed, the community receives a monetary value equivalent of that amount. When it comes to donations, volunteer donations are as valuable as cash donations, both of which contribute to the development of society.

Volunteer donations are essential in cases where there are few resources or where there is a shortage of human resources. For instance, volunteer programs significantly reduce the financial burden on hospitals, schools, and other institutions that rely on volunteers to provide services.

The compounding effect of volunteerism is also crucial. Volunteers not only provide crucial services but also play a significant role in motivating others to contribute to society.

Volunteer work encourages friends and neighbors to come together and work for a common goal. The spirit of volunteerism also inspires philanthropy, which translates into higher levels of charitable giving and an overall betterment of society.

Popular Types of Volunteer Work:

Fundraising and tutoring are some of the most common types of volunteer work. Volunteers who engage in fundraising activities can help raise funds for various causes, which makes a significant impact on non-profit organizations and charities.

Similarly, tutoring provides a valuable opportunity for volunteers to contribute to society by helping to educate others. Other popular volunteer services include community service, event organization, and assisting seniors and people with disabilities.

Community service involves working on various projects that benefit the local community. Event organization helps to create and run events in the community.

Volunteers who assist seniors and people with disabilities provide invaluable support to those in need, helping to improve the lives of others. Volunteering Benefits:

Volunteering has psychological, social, and physical benefits.

Psychologically, volunteering helps to provide a sense of purpose and satisfaction in life. Volunteers draw a sense of meaning from their work, which helps to stimulate mental health and overall happiness.

Participating in volunteer work can also lessen the symptoms of depression, reducing the likelihood of developing mental health problems. On the social front, volunteering helps strengthen interpersonal relationships.

Volunteering helps develop new social networks and can help combat social isolation. Volunteering also provides an opportunity to interact with diverse groups of people, which can lead to an increase in social and cultural awareness.

Lastly, volunteering is an excellent way to maintain physical health. Volunteers who engage in physical activities such as cleaning, construction, or gardening can benefit from staying active.

Volunteering also helps decrease the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and other physical health concerns. Conclusion:

Volunteering is an important part of life that contributes to the betterment of society.

It provides significant value in terms of monetary, social, and psychological benefits. The compounding effect of volunteerism can lead to the development of strong communities, increased philanthropic activity, and an overall better society.

Choose a volunteer program that resonates with your values and interests, and experience the personal fulfillment that can come from helping others. Volunteering is a valuable activity that contributes positively to the community and the broader economy behind it.

Volunteer work is often an underrated force, as it can significantly contribute to the diversity of impact in the economic, social and psychological levels. In this article, we will explore certain demographic groups linked with volunteering and the economic impact of this activity in particular.

The Demographics of Volunteerism:

Women volunteers often contribute more towards the economy than their male counterparts. A report from the Independent Sector showed that women contribute between $109.5 billion to $161.2 billion annually as opposed to men, who contribute between $49.3 billion to $75.6 billion.

This higher economic impact is due to the higher representation of women in social service sectors, such as healthcare, education, and social work. Gen Xers and baby boomers are two other demographic groups recognized for their active contribution to volunteering.

Gen Xers (born between 1965-1980) are well-educated and often hold higher-level jobs. They have a higher income than the average population and are known to be generous towards various causes.

Baby boomers (born between 1946-1964) have a similar financial strength as their Gen X counterpart but come with a higher level of experience both professionally and in life in general. Both these demographic groups tend to volunteer for activities related to education, health, youth services, and religious institutions.

Parent volunteers are another important demographic group, as they tend to be more likely to volunteer their time compared to those without children. Parents volunteer to support their children’s educational and extracurricular activities, lending their time and skill sets towards school camps, church groups, or other activities related to the upbringing of children.

The Economic Impact of Volunteering:

Nonprofits are a significant employer and one that often engages volunteers as part of its operation. According to the Nonprofit Employment Report conducted by John Hopkins University in the United States, the nonprofit sector employed 12.3 million individuals, making up 10.3% of the workforce in 2016.

This includes a broad range of nonprofit organizations working in healthcare, education, social services, and environmental causes. Volunteering is an asset to the economy as it supports nonprofits by filling in gaps that are sometimes difficult to manage with limited resources.

Nonprofits usually rely heavily on supporter’s financial contributions. However, volunteers offer additional assistance, expertise, and skills that can often make an enormous difference in these organizations’ daily operations at no charge.

For example, a volunteer may offer their technical or organizational skills to streamline processes, saving the organization time and money that can be redirected to their programs’ development. Volunteer work is also an advantage in the job market.

Volunteer experience can help job seekers stand out by showcasing their experiences and transferrable skills through their work. Volunteering provides an opportunity to learn new skills, make connections, and gain real-world experience in areas that may be challenging to come by.

On top of this, nonprofit and government environments offer a unique set of professional contacts including experts in public policy, administration, research, healthcare, advocacy, and a broad range of fields impacting social justice causes,


Volunteering is a valuable resource in our society that contributes to the economy, social beliefs, and individuals’ well-being. The recognition and appreciation towards volunteers have increased in recent times, as more individuals understand the impact volunteers have on society.

Regardless of demographic groups, all volunteers play a pivotal role in helping create stronger communities. The continued progress towards improving volunteerism participation highlights that this movement has more to offer as a resource that is often underestimated.

In conclusion, this article emphasizes the value of volunteering in society, with a specific focus on various demographic groups and its economic impact. Women volunteers have a significant economic impact due to their higher representation in social service sectors compared to men.

Baby boomers and Gen Xers are two other groups that significantly contribute to volunteering. Volunteering is beneficial to the economy as it provides the nonprofit sector with additional expertise, skills, and support.

Volunteer experience also can act as an asset in the job market by allowing job seekers to learn new skills, make connections, and gain real-world experience. Volunteering is an underrated resource that plays a pivotal role in creating stronger communities and an overall better society.

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