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employee volunteering statistics

Employee Volunteering Statistics in the UK 2015

Ben Darlington | 20 March 15

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If you add up all of the employee volunteering time pledged by firms in the UK, the result is staggering. An estimated 11 million people in the UK are given paid time off to volunteer, which even if you value it conservatively, constitutes a billion pounds worth of support to deserving charities.

But ‘staggering’ soon turns to ‘horrifying’ if you look at how much ever gets donated. Most firms see 20% staff participation as an acceptable target, and in many cases this is much, much lower.

Put aside the nuances of impact, ease of application and the costs of implementation and that’s a huge amount of manpower that isn’t reaching charities in a financially challenging time. That’s Benefacto’s case for change.

How we worked it out:

We took some of the government’s high-level statistics on employment in the UK and applied some assumptions about the incidence of employee volunteering across a range of business sizes to work out the number of days that are given each year in both London and the UK.

employee volunteering statistics

In London the outcome was 2,644,120 days each year; in the UK broadly the total was 16,998,896. Pretty big numbers.

From there it’s a pretty short step to estimating the value of that time. It’s almost too terrible to believe, but we’ve heard tales of some big companies estimating the value of their employee’s voluntary contributions at the same hourly rate as they’re billing for professional services…

So, we’ve gone for a more conservative sum, and used the living wage.  At the national rate of £7.85 an hour and £9.15 in London, the value of time pledged each year comes to over £1 billion pounds in the UK or around £180 million in the capital.

The London Benchmarking Group puts engagement with employee volunteering at 17% – which means that the case for Benefacto’s existence couldn’t be clearer: there’s £800 million of volunteering not being put to work every year and we can build that capacity.

Some of the take home data points from our employee volunteering statistics:

10,624,935  = Employees in the UK get paid-time-off to volunteer

£1,000,868,877 = The value of employee volunteering time given across the UK 

£170,147,709 = The value of employee volunteering time used in the UK

If you’d like to see the full results of our calculations you can download them here. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these numbers and the potential for increasing corporate engagement with the charity sector. Either comment below or get in touch with Ben.

For more number crunching, have a look at our employee volunteering calculator, and find out the real cost of employee volunteering at your business.

Ben Darlington looks after new partnerships and possibilities at Benefacto. He has been involved with the project since its inception back in 2012, building the website and developing the graphic design. He is always looking for ways for charities, businesses and social enterprises to work together. If you'd like to work with Benefacto talk to Ben at ben@benefacto.org.

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