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State of Volunteering – South Australia 2023

Volunteering SA&NT
Asia and the Pacific
Measurement of Volunteer Work

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This first-ever State of Volunteering Report for South Australia, published by Volunteering SA&NT in 2024, aims to capture the impact, value, diversity, and contributions of volunteers across the state. 


  • The inaugural State of Volunteering Report provides a comprehensive, rich, and practical snapshot of the volunteering landscape in South Australia, offering insights into the volunteering sector, volunteering behaviour and the economic and social value of volunteering.

  • The report draws on insights from two extensive surveys within the volunteering sector. The first, a Public Survey, involved a random sample of 986 South Australian residents, while the second, a Volunteer Manager survey, included 341 Sout Australian volunteer managers from across metropolitan, regional, and remote locations. Additionally, four focus groups were undertaken with volunteers, volunteer managers and peak bodies within the aged care sector, providing valuable information on their unique challenges and opportunities. 

  • The report finds that in 2023, 951,800 South Australians dedicated their time to volunteering, generating a substantial value of $36.1 billion for the state. Volunteers contributed 223 million hours and individuals volunteered for an average of 4.5 hours per week. 

  • A considerable amount of volunteering activities in South Australia are undertaken by younger people, with 69.4% of people aged 35-44 engaging in some form of volunteerism, followed closely by 67.4% of people aged 25-34, and 67% of those aged under 25. 

  • 76.4% of volunteers reported their intention to maintain or increase their volunteering efforts over the next three years, while 28% of non-volunteers reported their intention to start volunteering over the same period. Similarly, 56.5% of volunteer managers believed they would be doing the same or more hours with their organization in three years’ time.  

  • Volunteering generates substantial social and economic benefits for SA. The $36.1 billion benefit represents a return of $5.20 for every dollar invested in volunteering. Volunteering’s social return is estimated to be $29.3 billion. 

  • The report further estimates the replacement labour cost of volunteering at $9 billion, nearly double the cost of the entire SA public sector. Volunteering is identified as a key contributor to community well-being, resulting in a notable 14.7% increase in workplace productivity.