Mudgee Classic

Image Credit - Salty Dingo


The 2023 New South Wales State of Volunteering Report is a significant piece of research for the volunteering sector and broader NSW community. Commissioned by The Centre for Volunteering with funding support from the NSW Department of Communities and Justice, the report is the first comprehensive analysis of volunteering in NSW following the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Report is based on two surveys, one of the general public of NSW, and one of NSW volunteer managers. These surveys represent the biggest research project on volunteering in NSW and provide us with vital data that builds on our inaugural State of Volunteering Report. 

The State of Volunteering Report presents a detailed examination of the characteristics of volunteers and volunteer management in NSW. It highlights the strength of the volunteering sector, and the immense benefits that  volunteering contributes to the state. 



The 2021 State of Volunteering Report was an important research project that we executed to better understand the sector and the social, cultural and economic impact of volunteering on our communities. 

The 2023 report continues the project, paving the way for deeper analysis. While we cannot draw trends based on two reports alone, you can view the 2021 Key Findings to see understand how the sector has developed over the past three years. 


Key Findings of the Report

the size of volunteering in NSW


In 2023, 4.3 million people gave time as a volunteer, contributing $178 billion of value to the state of NSW. The volunteering sector has experienced many challenges following the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent cost-of-living crisis. Yet volunteers have continued to meet and to participate in activities that are key to their communities, with the average volunteer contributing 17.5 hours each month, for a total of 893.9 million hours in 2023.

the value of volunteering in NSW


In parallel to this is the enormous social and economic benefit that volunteering provides to NSW. The $178 billion benefit to NSW represents 550% return on investment. In other words, for every dollar invested in volunteering, a return of $5.50 is seen.

These findings, and other key insights from the report, have been summarised in infographic form and can be found here  Download Key Findings

The 2023 State of Volunteering Report provides a strong base from which we are able to advocate for the sector, understand the sector’s needs, and continue to develop resources and best practice to support the essential work of all our volunteers.


This research would not be possible without the support and participation of the NSW volunteering sector, and the generous support of the NSW Department of Justice and Communities. We particularly wish to thank the members of the project steering committee for their support and insight, and all people who participated in the surveys. Our research and advocacy efforts are enriched by your insights, so subscribe to our monthly newsletter for updates on feedback opportunities and to see the results of this research in action.


Project Partners

NSW Department of Communities and Justice


For general enquiries – our Policy, Advocacy, Research | e. | t. 02 9261 3600

For media enquiries – e.