Independent Sector, a non-partisan research group, has released new numbers for the value of volunteer service. According to the site:
The value of volunteer time is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Independent Sector takes this figure and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.
The most recent figure for the value of volunteer time is $19.51 per hour. With 70,130 hours contributed in the past fiscal year, this puts the value of our volunteers' contribution in 2008 at $1,368,000! Our investment into the program includes a $16,000 budget, my salary and benefits, some supervision time, and payments of about $3,500 apiece for the two dozen or so SCA interns who spent their summers with us. Even figuring extravagently in totaling these expenses, that means a return of $1.37 million on an investment of around $200,000. Not a bad deal in a tight economy!
I also appreciate the following additional comment on Independent Sector's website:
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 organization has within a community, provide work for short periods of time, and provide support on a wide range of projects.
A million thanks to you, our invaluable volunteers!