Giving Compass' Take:

• Dan Cardinali at Independent Sector discusses how volunteering is one of the best measures for the health of civil society, because it tells us how involved and how invested people are in their communities. Volunteers contribute real value, and we need to recognize that.

• Both the national volunteer rate and the giving rate are dropping – down from 67% in 2000 to 56% in 2014. How can donors and philanthropists help to inspire their volunteers and make their time worthwhile?

• Here's an article on how to get better engagement out of volunteers. 

It’s National Volunteer Week, and Independent Sector just released the new Value of Volunteer Time of $25.43 per hour.

You might wonder, aren’t volunteers giving their time and effort for free? Why are we associating a monetary number to it?

We calculate this figure each year because volunteers are so critical to the quality of life in all our communities. Just like a check or a pledge card, volunteers are a vital resource that help nonprofits deliver on their mission. Board members, committee members, and community volunteers contribute in unimaginable ways.

For example, in South Carolina, a single volunteer hour represents $23.21 of value, and that’s up 4.5% from last year. To put that into perspective, we reached out to one of our members, the United Way of Greenville County. Last year, they had more than 13,000 volunteers. Those volunteers gave roughly 45,000 hours of service. So, volunteers have provided more than $1 million to the United Way of Greenville County and the communities they serve.

Read the full article about the value of volunteers by Dan Cardinali at Independent Sector.