Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

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Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby Cheryl Jones » Jun 4, 2008 11:06 pm

Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage
April 17, 2008

The value of a volunteer hour nearly kept pace with inflation during 2007, increasing 3.94 percent while consumer prices tracked at 4.1 percent. The estimate for the value of volunteer hour jumped by 74 cents, from $18.77 in 2006 to $19.51 last year, according to Independent Sector (IS), a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of nonprofits and foundations.

IS calculates the hourly value of volunteer time based on the average hourly wage for all non-management,
non-agriculture workers as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, with a 12-percent increase to estimate for fringe benefits. The federal minimum wage is $5.85 an hour.

"Our nation's volunteers play a vital role in helping America's 1.4 million charitable organizations improve lives across the country and around the world," said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of IS. "Quantifying the value of their time gives us yet another indicator of how important volunteers are to communities."

The new estimates were released ahead of National Volunteer Week (April 27-May 3) to "acknowledge the millions of individuals who dedicate their time, talents, and energy to making a difference."

Washington, D.C. had the highest hourly value ($30.10) among the 50 states and Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. The top states were all found in the Northeast: New York ($26.18), Connecticut ($25.75), Massachusetts ($24.29) and New Jersey ($23.62).

The bottom six states, excluding Puerto Rico ($10.21), all fell below the level of the Virgin Islands ($14.85): West Virginia ($14.70), Arkansas ($14.63), North Dakota ($14.27), Mississippi ($14.08), South Dakota ($13.72) and Montana ($13.51).

In all, 10 states eclipsed the $20 value and all but seven had values of more than $15. Two pairs of states had identical values: Colorado and Virginia ($20.08), and Vermont and Kentucky ($16.07).

This article is from NPT Instant Fundraising, a publication of The NonProfit Times.

[Go here for NSS Volunteer Value forms]
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby Teresa » Jun 4, 2008 11:12 pm

Does this mean I'm worth more as a volunteer than as a wage earner?

Quick, someone tell my boss(es)!

I do not actually understand how this can be so. If a person earns X amount at their real job, how can their volunteer work be worth more than that?
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby NZcaver » Jun 5, 2008 1:20 am

Better keep this quiet! :yikes:

The government might figure out a way to tax volunteers on their increased hypothetical wages... :tonguecheek:
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby batrotter » Jun 5, 2008 6:04 am

This is not surprizing. Minimum wage jobs are almost always unskilled jobs. Volunteers usually volunteer for something that they are knowledgable in. Therefore, volunteers are more skilled and worth more.
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Jun 5, 2008 10:36 am

I don't mind volunteering ... as long as there's pizza at the end of the day's work and maybe a cool t-shirt when it's all said and done... some projects take several weekends or more to complete.
It's all good though even without the fringes. The feel good of doing something good can't be replaced by pizza or t-shirts. :big grin:
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby Squirrel Girl » Jun 5, 2008 11:42 am

Don't forget, June 7th is National Trails Day. I'll bet there are volunteer opportunities near you!
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby wyandottecaver » Jun 5, 2008 4:37 pm


Actually this tends to work to our advantage. Being experts at paying for things that should be free, that "official" wage rate for volunteer hours means that the government uses that rate (or higher for specialists) to figure in-kind matches for grants and such. Also, as Batrotter said, most volunteer labor is of higher than average quality...at least in energy. so entities like non-profits can use their free labor to meet match requirements for grants.
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Re: Volunteers Worth 3.3 Times Minimum Wage

Postby David Grimes » Jun 7, 2008 1:58 am

I really like the volunteer value program it shows others how helpful cavers are. It really looks like everyone all around the country does allot to keep the NSS running strong hopefully that upward trend will continue.
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