The Power of Volunteering

The results are in! 

1.5 million people dedicate their time to volunteering in Western Australia, generating a substantial value of $63.9 billion for the state.

The WA State of Volunteering Report 2023, serves as a comprehensive overview of the volunteering landscape in WA, offering insights into various aspects of the sector.

Despite encountering challenges stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic and current cost-of-living crisis, volunteers persevered in actively participating in activities crucial to their communities.

Volunteering yields substantial social and economic benefits for WA. The $63.9 billion benefit represents a remarkable 470% return on investment, signifying a return of $4.70 for every dollar invested in volunteering. The report further estimates the replacement labour cost of volunteering at $16.5 billion, more than double the cost of the entire WA public sector. Volunteering is identified as a pivotal contributor to community well-being, accounting for a noteworthy 14.7% increase in workplace productivity.

On average, each volunteer contributed 22.6 hours monthly, culminating in a total of 400 million hours in 2023. 

While these contributions are commendable, it is imperative to acknowledge the significant personal cost borne by volunteers, emphasising that volunteering is not without expense. The report reveals an hourly cost of $13.75 to volunteer, with volunteers absorbing 77.3% of the total expenses, compared to 22.7% for volunteer involving organisations.

Understanding the state of volunteering in Western Australia is vital so we as a community can strengthen and future-proof it for generations to come.

We hope you will find the report a valuable resource in guiding and supporting your efforts in recruiting and recognising volunteers, reducing the barriers to volunteering, and working together to build a sustainable and vibrant volunteering sector.

Tina Williams
Volunteering WA Chief Executive Officer

As Minister for Volunteering, I am proud of the enormous community participation and engagement through volunteering across this State.  Western Australia has a distinctive volunteering culture with
a diverse regional landscape. Acknowledging this culture and importance of comparable data across jurisdictions, provides a unique opportunity to show both the State’s volunteering strengths, as well as those areas where change and innovation may help future volunteering populations.

The WA State of Volunteering Report supplies a platform to inform national comparisons, driving a progressive response and supporting research-led decision making across the sector. 

The WA State Government appreciates the volunteer contribution to the economic and social development of our state and is committed to supporting a thriving and connected volunteering sector, recognising the value of volunteers and volunteer-involving organisations.

I am excited about the future of volunteering in WA, and the ways in which we value volunteering across our diverse communities.

Hon Don Punch MLA
Minister for Volunteering WA