Money Talks: Ascribing a Dollar Value to Voluntarism in Australian and New Zealand U3As

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Swindell, Richard
Vassella, Kenneth
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1999
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Objective: To ascribe a dollar value to voluntarism in Australian and New Zealand Universities of the Third Age (U3A).

Method: Questionnaires were sent to administrators of all U3As in Australia and NZ asking them to itemise and quantify every activity carried out by volunteers in their organisations. Hours were totalled by country and, using a notional value of $10 per hour, an overall dollar worth was calculated.

Results: The value of U3A voluntarism in Australia is more than $4 million annually. For NZ, the value is more than $300,000.

Conclusion: The value of voluntarism by older people tends to be taken for granted or overlooked entirely by many in society. In today's cost‐benefit focused climate a monetary equivalent should be calculated for voluntarism and the real value included with other measures of national productivity.

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Australasian Journal on Ageing

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18

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1

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Medical and Health Sciences

Studies in Human Society

Psychology and Cognitive Sciences

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