Independent Sector Releases New Value of Volunteer Time of $33.49 Per Hour

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2023 Value of Volunteer Time 5.3 percent higher than 2022’s estimate

Washington, April 23, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Independent Sector, with the Do Good Institute, announced today that the value of a volunteer hour is $33.49 — a 5.3 percent increase from the previous year. Estimated from data collected in 2023, the figure illustrates the valuable and significant contributions volunteers make every day to support our communities and nation.

Charitable organizations most frequently use the value of volunteer time to recognize the amount of community support an organization receives from its volunteers. Corporations also use the figure to calculate the value of staff volunteer efforts in communities around the country.

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The state and national estimates of the value of volunteer time are based on the method used by Independent Sector in prior years. The primary assumption is that the value of volunteer service is based on the average earnings of private sector workers, excluding those who work on farms or in managerial occupations.

The latest value, calculated by the University of Maryland’s Do Good Institute, is measured based on annual average hourly earnings estimates that are available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Learn more about the methodology.

The estimates may still understate the full value of volunteer service because they do not consider the many intangible benefits provided by volunteers that cannot be easily quantified.

“When you volunteer, you help hold up the foundation of civil society. Volunteers lend their energy and talents, help their neighbors, and strengthen their communities. Volunteers nationwide are making meaningful contributions to many causes to improve lives and advance the greater good,” said Dr. Akilah Watkins, Independent Sector president and CEO. “Volunteering is a critical form of engagement with nonprofits that strengthens the nonprofit workforce and drives trust in the sector. No dollar estimate can fully reflect the value of volunteers to the wellbeing of our communities and our nation, but organizations use this number to quantify the importance of volunteering.”

“Once again, the estimated value of an hour of volunteer time has increased, which reflects the invaluable contributions that volunteers make every day to organizations in the social sector and to their communities,” said Nathan Dietz, research director, Do Good Institute and the researcher responsible for calculating the estimates. “The increase of 5.3 percent is much larger than the annual inflation rate (3.4 percent in 2023), which shows how much organizations appreciate the efforts of those who do this important work.”

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. Values range from $15.82 per hour for Puerto Rico to $50.88 per hour 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/resource/value-of-volunteer-time.

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The Do Good Institute at the University of Maryland provides education, programs, research, and resources to develop the next generation of nonprofit leaders, social innovators, and civic-minded students. Learn more at dogood.umd.edu.

Independent Sector is the only national membership organization that brings together a diverse community of changemakers at nonprofits, foundations, and corporate giving programs to ensure all people in the United States thrive. Learn more at independentsector.org.

CONTACT: Nina Ford Independent Sector 202-467-6113 [email protected] 

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