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A pro bono bonus: The impact of volunteering on wages and productivity

The value of volunteering

Volunteering has long been overlooked in terms of its contribution to the economy. So Royal Voluntary Service has worked with Pro Bono Economics to better understand exactly how volunteering contributes to UK plc.

The results show that volunteering is not only good for the economy, but also for businesses and employees, as well as for communities and society as a whole.

The new report reveals that volunteering boosts productivity by £4,551 per employee and adds at least £4.6 billion per year to the economy.

"As we have noticed with our own volunteers, volunteering is a very effective means to improve confidence and skills and show commitment to an organisation, helping both the employed and unemployed boost their employability and prospects."

Catherine Johnstone CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Voluntary Service

Read The third pillar’s role in economic growth by Catherine Johnstone CBE

"By encouraging volunteering, productivity gains can be achieved and it makes for a compelling case for businesses to expand employee volunteering opportunities across their entire workforce, enabling everyone at work to benefit."

Matt Whittaker, Chief Executive Offer, Pro Bono Economics

How to realise the value of volunteering

There is a clear call to action from this study - to scale up employee volunteering. By doing so, businesses can not only help to restore a still recovering post-pandemic civil society, they will also improve their business and positively impact the communities they operate in.

Read the full report and recommendations.

  1. Community Life Survey, 2021/22.
  2. P Dolan, C Krekel, G Shreedhar, H Lee, C Marshall, A Smith, Happy to help: the welfare effects of a nationwide micro-volunteering programme, Centre for Economic Performance, Discussion Paper No. 1772, May 2021.
    Lawton et al demonstrate a positive effect of volunteering on wellbeing across a range of different datasets which all capture volunteering adding further weight to the evidence.
    R N Lawton, I Gramatki, W Watt, Happy Days: Does volunteering make us happier or is it that happier people volunteer?, Academia, 2019

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