The value of volunteers, volunteering and volunteerism (3Vs)

3Vs Final Report: Uncovering the hidden value

The 3Vs Final Report: Uncovering the hidden value provides a fresh perspective and advanced way of thinking about the value created by Victoria’s volunteers (the people), volunteering (the activities) and volunteerism (the culture) referred to as the 3Vs. 

This report is a product of an innovative project which uses contemporary evidence to capture, quantify and communicate the value of Victoria’s 3Vs, represented in three layers of value:

  • volunteer personal value
  • emergency management value, and 
  • community strengthening value. 

These layers of value can be measured in economic, physical, social, cultural, human and environmental terms. 

The contribution of the 3Vs and each value is significant and widely distributed across Victorian communities. A conservative estimate in the report indicates the annual economic contribution is valued between $1.9 to $2.5 billion. 

An evolved narrative in the report also describes other measures of value including the incidental ‘hidden value’ which may otherwise remain unknown and therefore unappreciated. Learning to understand these different perspectives is important to develop an advanced way of thinking to inform emergency management thinking, decision making and investment for the future.  

Most important is to sustain and strengthen the culture of volunteering in Victoria by promoting a shared understanding and respect for the critical role that volunteers contribute to building safer and more resilient communities. 

3Vs Interim Report: The value hidden in plain sight 

The 3Vs Interim Report: The value hidden in plain sight was developed and released in August 2017 as part of this project. This was an important first step in creating a strategic framework to better understand the breadth, depth and importance of the 3Vs as they were developed. This report highlights the broad range of value created and identifies a gap between what is easily seen and understood and what is hidden and not appreciated. This work was instrumental in developing a new way of thinking and talking about volunteers, together with their activities and their impact on society.

This was a Volunteer Consultative Forum (VCF) initiative designed, developed and delivered in partnership with EMV.


You may need Adobe® Acrobat® Reader or Libre Office to view the document(s) on this page.

Get Adobe® Acrobat® Reader (External link)

Get Libre Office (External link)


If you would like to receive this publication in a more accessible format, you can request it via our feedback form.