The Value of Volunteers, Volunteering and Volunteerism (3Vs) project began on the premise that there are currently no credible or comprehensive methods or models to fully understand the value of emergency management volunteers and volunteering to the Victorian community. Nor is it possible to place a holistic value on volunteerism overall. The contribution and value distribution cannot be quantified, and at present can only be demonstrated through effective story-telling, media messaging or standard lines. A better understanding of service, people, products and program value is important to sustainability, effective investment, strategy and modelling of capability, capacity and costs.
This Interim Report captures the first iteration of the project, the complexity of the task and the absolute importance of the work. In the past, attempts to understand and measure the value of emergency management volunteering were understood primarily through economic value at an individual level; that is, the financial cost of the substitution of labour per volunteer. The project deliberately provides a broader understanding of the 3Vs, and by doing this it shifts from an individual level understanding to a multi-layered understanding of value. The 3Vs is a quick way to describe three distinct yet interconnected terms, offering a new lens through which to view value.