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Box 2.1 Definitions of ‘the’ voluntary sector used in Section 2.2

The sector’s contribution to the economy can also be compared with the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). In total, the BNS expended £47.1 billion in 1995, some 6.6 per cent of GDP. However, this does not take into account the value of volunteering. The appropriate route to valuing this input in money terms is the subject of some dispute. But using reasonable assumptions would suggest that volunteering in the BNS generates a ‘value added’ equivalent to between £15.7 billion and £20.5 billion in monetary terms. (The former uses the median voluntary sector paid staff rate of pay to impute a lower bound estimate of the value to volunteer hours. The latter uses the mean, nonagricultural, nonpublic sector wage to generate an upper bound estimate.) If we compare this to GDP, in turn itself adjusted to include the value added of all informal and formal volunteering on a similar basis, the activities of the BNS emerge as representing 9.2 per cent of (volunteer-adjusted) GDP.