Defining and Measuring Volunteering: Considerations from the Antipodes

David Gilchrist, Craig Furneaux

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference presentation/ephemerapeer-review

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While volunteering is vital to the functioning of society and charities, questions remain about its definition, particularly what activities and actors are within the scope of what could be considered volunteering, and secondly, how to measure it. In particular, the Australian Accounting Standards appear to have a different interpretation to say, the International Labour Office in terms of what constitutes volunteering. Further, there are a large variety of ways proposed in both academic and practitioner literature on how to measure volunteering. This paper will seek to clarify these differences and advance the ability to measure and report on volunteering for Australian charities, by developing a contingency model for valuing volunteering, built around an interpretation of relevant accounting standards.

The specific research questions we will examine include:

• Research Question 1
o Why do we measure volunteering and report these measurements?
• Research Question 2
o How can volunteering be understood for the purposes of charitable accountability in Australia?
• Research Question 3
o How can volunteering be measured for the purposes of establishing fair value under AASB 1058?


Conference15th Biennial Australian and New Zealand Third Sector Research Conference
Abbreviated titleANZTSR 2022
Internet address


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