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Monetary Value of Volunteer Time

Determining an economic value to assign to volunteer time is getting more and more attention. Be aware that most of the calculations are really wage replacement costs and have little to do with intrinsic worth. 

Advocacy for Volunteer Involvement: The Role of Funders, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
Assigning an Economic Value to Volunteering, Volunteer Canada, 2010

Well-articulated position statement on the issue of calculating the monetary value of volunteer contributions.

The Choice of the Citizen: Pay Taxes, Do Without, or Volunteer, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2011
The Correlation between Time Donors and Money Donors, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2010
The Economic Equation of Volunteering, Katharine Gaskin and Barbara Dobson, 1997
The Economic Value of Volunteering, Andreea Melania Nagy, Coyote, 2011
How Will the Economic Crisis Affect Volunteering?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
It's Time to Start Counting Volunteers Seriously, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
The Money Factor in Volunteer Management, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 1999
Money is No Object, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2001
A Note On Assessing Value, Linda Graff, , pp. 20-22, Linda Graff and Associates Inc., 2005
Raising Money through Volunteer Labor, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2003
Should Board Members Be Paid?, Mark Athitakis, Associations Now, 2014

Includes links to similar articles at end.

Should We Ask Volunteers to Give Money on Top of Time?, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2004
Tax Deductions for Volunteers, Conrad Teitell, 2007
Volunteering and Charitable Giving, Carolyn M. Appleton, 2013

Thoughtful discussion comparing money and time donors -- with a long list of related online.article links.

Volunteers Should Not Be Second-Class Taxpayers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2008
When the Ax Falls: Budget Cutting and Volunteers, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2009
Which would most benefit your organisation...
Directory of Social Change (UK), February 2011 "Quick Survey Analysis" on the question: Which would most benefit your organisation, a 10,000 cash donation or an equivalent value in volunteers (or volunteer hours)?-- 91% chose the cash.
Wouldn't It Be Nice to Really Know, Susan J. Ellis, Energize Hot Topic, 2006

A discussion paper from Volunteering Canada. Excellent summary of the various ways to determine the monetary value of volunteer service, with an analysis of the pros and cons of each.

, 2009, pp. 13

By Alex Parish, Jane Heath, and Meryem Hassan for the National Center for Volunteering, UK. 

, 2003, pp. 60
By the Grantmaker Forum on Community and National Service reveals the level of infrastructure neccessary for an organization to effectively involve volunteers , 2003, pp. 24
This document from Volunteering England explores what "valuing volunteer management" really means and is designed to help organisations assess how they currently value volunteer management, why this is important, and what extra steps they could take., 2011, pp. 16
Economic Impact Of Volunteers Calculator

Created by the Points of Light Foundation estimates the appropriate wage rate for volunteer time based on what the person does and the value of specific tasks according to market conditions as reported by the US Department of Labor. A starting point for organizations to determine the value of the time their volunteers give doing a wide variety of volunteer jobs.

Value Volunteer Management

Initiative of Volunteering England to advocate for the importance of "investing in volunteering."

Print and e-Books in Our Store

Book cover for From the Top Down

Outlines the key executive decisions necessary to lay the foundation for successful volunteer involvement: policies, budgeting, staffing, employee-volunteer relationships, legal issues, cost and value of volunteers, and more.

Book cover

A very timely analysis of a major challenge facing nonprofits today - how to properly assess social impacts and the important contributions of volunteers.

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Last Updated: April 16, 2015