The brand-new analysis reveals that 4.5% of the Estonian population did some kind of unpaid regular voluntary work in 2009 and 2010. The number of these people is about 53,700. In addition, 2.5% of the Estonian population currently does regular voluntary work that they do not regard as voluntary work. Also, 15% of the population volunteers at one-time public events, bees or campaigns.

According to Risto Kaarna, author of the analysis, calculations show that if the volunteers were to be paid for their work, then the public and third sector should spend budgetary resources in the amount of 80 million euros per year to finance these tasks and work. Kaarna specifies that “It is about 0.5% of the gross domestic product, but one should add to this some values that are more difficult to measure, such as the additional competitiveness of the volunteers in the labour market, but also the social involvement of the society and cooperation relationships.”

According to Külvi Noor, an analyst at Praxis and the co-author of the analysis, the assessment on the value of voluntary work is important to the decision-makers who form the policies of civil society and other fields, but also to those who finance the activities of nongovernmental organisations, to organisations that involve volunteers, and to volunteers themselves. “The organisations can, for example, use this methodology to prove their self-financing of projects.”