Volunteers can make it possible for your nonprofit organization to deliver programs and services to more people and at lower costs. An additional value, sometimes not considered, is the time itself.
If you calculate the value of volunteer time, you can use it as an in-kind contribution. Funders with matching requirements usually allow in-kind revenue to be used as a part of the match. Volunteer time is a great source for this.
Calculating the value of time for volunteers who deliver your programs and services gives you a true picture of total program costs. This is because you will be including what it would cost if you had paid staff doing the work.
Calculating Volunteer Time
The Independent Sector has resources and information about calculating the value of volunteer time. They report a national average of $25.63 an hour for volunteer time. For the most accurate figure, though, you’ll want to go to the website and find the hourly value for your state. This varies in the Pacific Northwest, from the $22.14 in Idaho, to $25.40 in Oregon, $27.88 in Alaska, to a high of $31.72 in Washington.
Tracking Volunteer Time
You will want a process to track and record volunteer time. I recommend using a combination of sign-in sheets, meeting notes, minutes, etc. Many organizations use a timesheet and have volunteers sign affirming the hours. Don’t forget to include volunteer time at board and committee meetings as part of your calculation.