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Measuring Volunteering: a Practical Toolkit
01 January 2001

Voluntary action is an important part of virtually every civilization and society, or so we think, because not every country has statistics to show what an important contribution volunteering makes to their economy. Limited information on how to undertake research on volunteering has also prevented those eager to begin studies. This was the context for meetings organized in March 1999 by the US-based nonprofit organization INDEPENDENT SECTOR and by INDEPENDENT SECTOR and the United Nations Volunteers in September 2000. Researchers and practitioners from ten countries pooled their expertise to produce this practical toolkit on measuring volunteering. We hope this publication will raise awareness of the importance of volunteering, and assist countries worldwide in undertaking measurement studies on national, regional, and local volunteering. The Measuring Volunteering Toolkit is a practical guide on the study of volunteer behavior and is full of useful background and knowledge that will empower countries, particularly developing countries, to produce their own empirical data to underpin policy measures related to volunteering.