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Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada Indice de progrès véritable - Atlantique VALUING VOLUNTEERS: AN EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL VALUATION Genuine.

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Presentation on theme: "Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada Indice de progrès véritable - Atlantique VALUING VOLUNTEERS: AN EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL VALUATION Genuine."— Presentation transcript:

1 Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada Indice de progrès véritable - Atlantique VALUING VOLUNTEERS: AN EXAMPLE OF SOCIAL CAPITAL VALUATION Genuine Progress Institute, Halifax, NS, 7 July,

2 Why Measure Voluntary Work? Contribution to wellbeing (cf other jobs) Health Canada - social supports Not count => not value => insufficient attention in policy arena Mark of civil society, democracy Strong voluntary sector = a major asset = acknowledge, nurture, protect, strengthen YET invisible in our core measures of progress and wellbeing

3 Eg What are costs of volunteer decline in sports/recreation? 90% greater chance of heart disease if inactive. 1/3 of heart disease could be avoided if all Nova Scotians were physically active. 20% stroke, hypertension, colon cancer, type 2 diabetes, 27% of osteoporosis, 11% breast cancer, could be eliminated by becoming physically active.

4 Costs of physical inactivity Inactivity costs NS $107m (direct) + $247m (indirect) = $350m/year More than 700 Nova Scotians die prematurely every year because they are physically inactive = 9% of all early deaths. Every year 2,200 potential years of life are lost in N.S. due to physical inactivity

5 In all fields, contemplate true costs of volunteer decline Health, culture, arts, social services Social supports, social networks key determinant of health (Health Canada) Increases resilience, recovery from illness, health

6 What can we do about this? How can we assign free time, volunteerism, health their true value? How can we give volunteerism the attention it deserves? How can we help Nova Scotians fully appreciate contribution and value of voluntary work?

7 Valuing Voluntary Work Nova Scotians give 140 million hrs of voluntary work/yr = 73,000 FTE jobs Worth nearly $2 billion /year to NS economy Nationwide decline in volunteer work cost Canadians $2 billion in lost services in 2000 = Invisible in conventional accounts

8 Who are the volunteers? Health, education, social services, culture, arts, religion, environment, justice, jobs, fire, search/rescue, international, Formal and informal Demographics changing Motivations changing

9 Key Social Support Health Canada uses volunteerism as a key indicator of a “supportive social environment” that can enhance health. = “Social Capital” (Helliwell) – has the highest correlation to wellbeing = more than income More women than men volunteer

10 In Canada, volunteerism has declined nationally

11 Economic Valuation Market value =cost if volunteers disappeared Cheapens or strategic? (Hamm - cheque) $1.9 billion = 10% GDP (more than govt) 73,000 FTE jobs = 82,000 full + part-time Indirect contributions - e.g. Skills training

12 Policy implications Inventory critical services provided by volunteers Understand how voluntary sector is affected by labour market trends Track “involuntary” voluntary work (question just as in Labour Force Surveys) Track burnout (next slide) Acknowledge, support, reward, centre stage

13 Volunteer time crunch predicted in 1998 GPI report Overtime up among educated, skilled (partly due to 1990s downsizing) Married women = 75 hours/week Predict time crunch among volunteers -> Forecasting just as for paid economy -> Understand voluntary sector with same precision, detail as paid economy

14 2000 results confirm 1998 predictions 2000: Volunteer burnout: NS = 30,000 fewer volunteers, but average hours per volunteer are up 32.3% ( ) Volunteer service hours/capita up from 42.3 (1997) to 50.1 (2000), bucking national trend where vol. services down

15 Policies to support the voluntary sector Acknowledge importance of paid staff: Cost- effective = every staff hour ($) leverages many volunteers hours. Therefore core funding impt Simplify funding/grant applic. procedures Provide bookkeeping/accounting/legal services etc. Include voluntary social service in school curricula

16 To sell policies ASK: What would it cost government to perform the same services? (support for community based orgs. is a good deal) What are the consequences of burnout, decline in voluntary services for recipients and society? Decline in social wellbeing, quality of life; or replace vol. services for pay?

17 By including these values in our core measures of progress... We can draw attention to models that: –can improve health and wellness –Improve quality of our lives, expand community activities and social networks = strengthen social capital – And value volunteerism fully and properly Apply to your own voluntary work and orgn:

18 Valuation methodology # volunteer hours / week x 52; or /day x 365 $ value per hour”: Use “specialist replacement methodology” for formal voluntary work; “generalist replacement methodology” for informal voluntary work Multiply each value by # formal and informal volunteer hours / year for total annual value of voluntary work F-t Job equivalent = divide total by (48 x 40)

19 Genuine Progress Index for Atlantic Canada Indice de progrès véritable - Atlantique


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