Independent Sector, with the Do Good Institute, has released the latest value of a volunteer hour as $27.20 – up 7% from the previous year. Estimated from data collected in 2019, the figure shows the valuable contributions volunteers make to support our communities and country.
“We know intuitively and through the Value of Volunteer Time that volunteers’ selfless work is a valuable asset that enables nonprofits to extend even further critical services they provide in communities nationwide,” said Independent Sector president and CEO Dan Cardinali. “But during this extraordinary time of challenge caused by COVID-19, when many organizations are struggling economically to maintain mission-critical operations, the contributions of volunteers are more important than ever, and often a critical linchpin that enables nonprofit organizations to continue to provide needed services to help communities endure and survive the pandemic.”
According to the most recent figures released in 2018 by the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 77.4 million people in the United States volunteered about 6.9 billion hours of their time, talent, and effort to improve and strengthen their communities. With the new Value of Volunteer Time, these community champions are contributing approximately $187.7 billion to our nation.
The latest value was calculated by the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute and recent graduate of the School of Public Policy, Michael Sousane. The figure is calculated with hourly earnings released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, using a new method to adjust the hourly value for fringe benefits. Learn more about the methodology, developed by DGI senior researcher Nathan Dietz and Sousane, at independentsector.org/value-volunteer-time-methodology.
“Volunteering not only helps nonprofit organizations better support the people and communities they serve around the country, but also promotes civic participation, helping to strengthen the ties that bind communities together,” said Robert T. Grimm, Jr., director of the Do Good Institute. “Our nation is full of people whose time and talents make a positive difference in the lives of so many individuals, and the data just proves even further what a valuable asset volunteers are in building stronger and more equitable communities.”
In addition to the national number, Independent Sector also provides the state-level value of volunteer time for all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. State level values range from $13.16 an hour (for Puerto Rico) to as high as $44.14 (for the District of Columbia).
For more on the Value of Volunteer Time, the methodology, and to explore historical national and state-level data, visit independentsector.org/valuevolunteers.