The contribution of different sectors is measured using GVA (gross value added) which measures the value of output. NCVO developed a method to estimate the voluntary sector’s GVA in consultation with the ONS in the early 2000s. This method produces a figure for the year 2011/12 of £11.8billion, which is equivalent to almost 0.9% of the GVA of all industries in the UK[19a].
NCVO is working with the ONS to improve coverage of the voluntary sector in the National Accounts, which are used to create GDP estimates. This is likely to lead to further improvements in the calculation of the sector’s contribution to the economy in future years.
The Community Life Survey[19b] estimates that UK adults who formally volunteer at least once a month spent more than 2.1 billion hours volunteering in 2012/13. Using a replacement cost approach, which uses the median wage from equivalent occupational groups to calculate the cost of replacing volunteers with paid staff, the ONS estimate[19c] that the value of voluntary activity is £23.9 billion – this is equivalent to just over 1.5% of GDP.
- ONS, (2013) United Kingdom National Accounts, The Blue Book, 2013 Edition
- Cabinet Office, (2013) Community Life Survey
- ONS, (2013) Household Satellite Accounts – Valuing Voluntary Activity in the UK