The contribution that non-for-profit organisations make to New Zealand society is immense and ranges across many disciplines, from education and the environment to emergency services and health care.
Non-profit organisations contributed $6 billion to NZ’s Gross Domestic Product in 2013, according to New Zealand Statistics data.
When the value from the labour of volunteers ($3.5 billion) is included, that figure rises to $9.4 billion (4.4 per cent).
Statistics NZ enterprise survey manager Susan Hollows said 90 per cent of non-profits relied on volunteers and did not employ staff. However, paid staff numbers rose 30 per cent between 2004 and 2013, up from 105,340 to 136,750.
“The number of people volunteering for non-profit institutions increased from one million to 1.2 million, but they contributed fewer hours in 2013,” Ms Hollows said.
The time volunteers spent working for non-profits dropped 42 per cent, from 270 million hours in 2004 to 157 million hours in 2013.
“These findings reflect a global trend, with other countries also showing reductions in time spent volunteering,” Ms Hollows said.
The non-profit sector’s total income increased 65 per cent between 2004 and 2013, with sales of goods and services up 71 per cent, to $8.3 billion. Income from grants, donations and membership fees rose 54 per cent to reach $4.1 billion.
Meanwhile, figures released by the Department of Internal Affairs during the September 2014 quarter show that nearly 35 per cent of all respondents volunteered at least one hour of their time. This was the highest volunteering rate of the five years measured.
Of those who volunteered, 59 per cent were female, and people between the ages of 30 to 39 years volunteered the most.
The charities sector
There are currently over 27,900 registered charities in NZ and the Department of Internal Affairs receives and processes more than 100 new applications a month. The annual income of these charities is over $16.4 billion and they employ over 88,000 full time staff.
Volunteers for these charities work two million hours a week.