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Volunteer Awareness Week

NZFVWO media briefing
13 June 2007

Volunteer Awareness Week an opportunity to take magnitude and value of voluntary sector into account

This year’s Volunteer Awareness Week, which runs from Saturday 17 June to Friday 23 June, is a timely reminder that many organisations in New Zealand would not be able to sustain their workloads without the input of volunteers.

The value that is added to New Zealand society every day by every person who puts their hand up for voluntary work is enormous and can increasingly be quantified, according to the Federation of Voluntary Welfare Organisations (NZFVWO).

Tina Reid, Executive Director at NZFVWO, says that recent projects that have collected data on the size of the non-profit sector mean that a more accurate picture of those people who contribute their time as volunteers is beginning to emerge.

“As we get more accurate data on the non-profit sector the estimated scale of the contribution made has grown to a point where people who take part in voluntary work, in all its diversity, should feel confident and proud that it counts for something,” says Tina Reid.

“The Department of Statistics plans to make a major release of new data about this sector in August. This will supplement figures released in April that confirmed that volunteers in non-profit agencies outnumber paid employees by approximately four to one.”

“Measuring the contribution of volunteers has been a high priority for the NZFVWO and its members. In a project with PriceWaterhouse Coopers the magnitude of voluntary work performed was astounding, with data to show that the dedicated time volunteers had contributed at just 10 agencies was the equivalent of 4,063 fulltime workers”.

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“The same project [VAVA, 2004] estimated that voluntary agencies were delivering between $3 and $5 of services in the community for each dollar provided to them. This again goes to prove just how much value the New Zealand public derives from the combination of volunteers and non-profit agencies”.

“The week ahead is a timely way for us all to acknowledge those helping hands, and to let existing and prospective volunteers know how much they are needed and that their work will not go un-noticed,” says Tina Reid.


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