US Dollar Value of Volunteer Time
2 May 2013 at 11:08 am
The latest estimate of the dollar value of a volunteer hour in the US has risen to $22.14, a 35-cent increase from 2011, according to the Not for Profit leadership network, Independent Sector.
In 2011 the hourly rate was estimated at $21.79.
The value of volunteer time is based on the hourly earnings (approximated from yearly values) of all production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls average based on yearly earnings provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Independent Sector says it indexes this figure to determine state values and increases it by 12% to estimate for fringe benefits.
“Volunteers continue to be vitally important to Not for profit and philanthropic organisations in this country,” Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector said.
“The value of volunteer time is a reminder of the immense contributions of volunteers to our organisations and our communities.
“It is very difficult to put a dollar value on volunteer time. Volunteers provide many intangibles that can not be easily quantified. For example, volunteers demonstrate the amount of support an organisation has within a community, provide work for short periods of time, and provide support on a wide range of projects.
“The value of volunteer time presented here is the average wage of non-management, non-agricultural workers. This is only a tool and only one way to show the immense value volunteers provide to an organisation.
“Charitable organisations most frequently use the value of volunteer time for recognition events or communications to show the amount of community support an organisation receives from its volunteers,” Aviv said.
According to Urban Institute, US Not for Profits employ approximately 13.7 million workers – about 10 percent of the American work-force – and account for about 5.5 percent of GDP.
According to the Corporation for National Community Service, about 64.3 million Americans, or 26.8 percent of the adult population gave 7.9 billion hours of volunteer service worth $171 billion in 2011; estimates for 2012 will be released this summer.
In 2012 a University of Adelaide study has found that volunteering in Australia is now worth more than the mining industry, declaring the true extent of its monetary value to be more than $200 billion a year.
Its economic contribution to Australian society outstrips revenue sources from mining, agriculture and the retail sector, according to Dr Lisel O'Dwyer, a Senior Research Associate in the University's School of Social Sciences.
“The research conservatively calculated the hourly rate for volunteers at around $7 per hour or 25% of the equivalent paid job”.
“To use the full dollar value would be just mind-boggling,” Dr O’Dwyer told Pro Bono Australia News.