Giving Compass' Take:
- The latest value of an hour of volunteer time, calculated by the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, is estimated to be $31.80.
- How do these measures help understand the value of volunteers and their time? How can donors better support volunteer programs?
- Learn why you should invest in volunteer engagement.
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Independent Sector, with the Do Good Institute, announced today that the latest value of a volunteer hour is estimated to be $31.80 — a 6.2 percent increase over 2021. Estimated from data collected in 2022, the figure illustrates the valuable and significant contributions volunteers make every day to support our communities and nation.
Charitable organizations most frequently use the value of volunteer time to recognize the amount of community support an organization receives from its volunteers. Corporations also use the figure to calculate the value of staff volunteer efforts in communities around the country.
The state and national estimates of the value of volunteer time are based on the method used by Independent Sector in prior years. The primary assumption is that the value of volunteer service is based on the average earnings of private sector workers, excluding those who work on farms or in managerial occupations.
The latest value, calculated by the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, is measured based on annual average hourly earnings estimates that are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Learn more about the methodology here.
The estimates may still understate the full value of volunteer service because they do not consider the many intangible benefits provided by volunteers that cannot be easily quantified.
“It is impossible to place a true dollar amount on the immeasurable contributions of time and effort that volunteers give freely to communities around our nation, whether during times of national disasters, or in daily acts of service,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins, President and CEO of Independent Sector. “We do know that without their empathy, bravery, and willingness to risk their lives to ensure residents continued to receive vital services throughout the COVID pandemic, many in our communities would not have fared as well. Volunteers are the ties that bind us as a nation and deserve our highest praise for keeping our democratic ideals alive.”
“With the incredible challenges presented over the last few years volunteers have been relied on more and more by mission-driven organizations to implement solutions, provide services, and help their neighbors and communities,” said Nathan Dietz, Research Director, Do Good Institute and the researcher responsible for calculating the estimates. “This is the largest year-over-year increase in the value of volunteer time that we’ve observed since the pandemic began. It probably reflects the impact of inflation (6.5 percent in 2022) as well as the fact that volunteers are more scarce — harder to find, and thus more valuable — than they used to be.”
Read the full article about value of volunteer time at Independent Sector.