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What is volunteering?

Volunteering Australia’s definition of volunteering is ‘Volunteering is time willingly given for the common good and without financial gain.’ The volunteering definition covers a wide range of activities in Australia. It can include formal volunteering or informal volunteering.

Formal volunteering is usually organized through a not-for-profit or community organisations while informal volunteering includes helping friends and family with things like caring or home repairs.

Volunteering provides huge benefits to our society. It also provides significant benefits to the volunteers themselves.

The personal benefits of volunteering can be great for your mental health and well-being.

Volunteering can:

  • Help you feel connected to your community, combat social isolation and stress
  • Teach you new skills
  • Give you a sense of achievement or purpose
  • Improve your self-esteem and confidence
  • Help you meet new people and maybe even make some new friends

While volunteers must not undertake work for financial gain, they can be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses, given an allowance and be rewarded or recognised for their hard work by an organisation (e.g. a service award gift).

For more information from the Australian Tax Office regarding volunteering click here.