Volunteering is worth £200bn per year to the British economy. That’s the figure the Chief Economist at the Bank of England gave in a recent lecture.
Andrew G Haldane was giving a lecture to the Society of Business Economists on 9 September – and with his pedigree and that audience you can be pretty sure of the validity of that figure.
The lecture was entitled “In giving, how much do we receive? The social value of volunteering” – an unconscious echo of the Prayer of St Francis perhaps?
To be honest the report is pretty dense and technical but lets use that figure where we can to talk up the importance of volunteering beyond the immediate.
Another fascinating fact in it is about the increase in wellbeing volunteers experience. He writes – “It is possible to translate these into monetary-equivalent values – the money an individual would need to be given to increase their well-being by the same amount. On this evidence, you would need to be compensated around £2,400 on average per person per year for forgoing the opportunity to volunteer.” (my emphasis). Paying people not to volunteer takes a bit of getting your head around. He doesn’t mean that of course, but rather that is the ‘value-added’ people get from volunteering. He goes on to point out this is about 10% of the average wage, a significant sum.
Let’s hope the ‘powers that be’ take note of these facts when it comes to supporting volunteering with adequate resources
You can read the full report at: