Volunteers contributed an estimated €1 billion worth of their time to Irish charities last year, according to a new report.
The report compiled by the Charities Regulator and Amárach on the social and economic impact of registered charities in Ireland shows that the total number of volunteering hours in Irish charities increased by an estimated 38% between 2018 and 2022.
It now stands at 94 million hours per year according to the report which used information from the Register of Charities, market research and economic estimates.
If Irish charities paid their volunteers for the time worked, the cost would have been nearly €1 billion based on the minimum wage and almost €2.5 billion if volunteers were paid the average hourly wage according to the regulator.
Just under 648,000 people said they did some voluntary work for charities according to research by Amárach, which is equivalent to almost one in five of the total adult population.
There are over 11,500 registered Irish charities, including approximately 3,700 schools.
The report found that even though the average number of hours that each person volunteered had declined since 2018, the overall impact of volunteering has still increased dramatically, given the substantial growth in the total number of volunteers.
An estimated 281,250 people are employed within the charity sector, which is equivalent to almost one in eight workers.
The total direct expenditure by Irish charities is estimated to be worth €18.6 billion in 2022, which was a 28% increase compared to 2018.