Volunteers are valuable! Nonprofits and community project managers have long hailed the worth of their unpaid workers. The stats in 2017 back up their claims as the most recent report shows another year of growth to the new hourly value of volunteer time. Plus, it turns out there’s more to gain from volunteering than dollar figures.
What are the National Volunteer Numbers?
A 2017 report by Independent Sector estimates volunteer time nets $24.69 per hour. A number which steadily rises each year. According to the Corporation for National & Community Service, nearly 63 million Americans (25 percent of the U.S. population) volunteer eight billion hours of time yearly.
This national commitment to volunteerism contributes 184 billion dollars to the country. Plus, only .4 percent of non volunteers donate to charity while .8 percent of volunteers give charitably. This giving boosts the dollar value of volunteerism.
Collecting, preparing, distributing and serving food as well as fundraising top the list of volunteer activities. Tutoring, mentoring and general labor rank next. Religious organizations volunteer most (34 percent). Educational or youth services (26 percent) place second with social or community service (15 percent) following in third.
How Does Hawaii Measure Up?
The value of Hawaiian volunteers rises to the upper end of the range. Calculated at $25.40 per hour, the hourly value of volunteer time in the Aloha State saw a 6.7 percent increase since 2016. In 2015, the Corporation for National & Community Service calculated the state’s volunteers at 228,707 with just over 25 volunteer hours per person.
These numbers add up to 28 million hours and 652 billion dollars of service contributed. Fundraising and engaging in general labor top the list of volunteer activities in Hawaii. Religious organizations (28 percent), and educational or youth service (28 percent) tie for first place as contributors to Hawaii’s volunteerism.
What Does the Hourly Value of Volunteer Time Mean to You?
The figures reported by Independent Sector give physical value to what charitable organizations and volunteer leaders know — a great deal of valuable work is accomplished by volunteers. The world spins more smoothly and its people feel more loved thanks to the time, talents and efforts of these unpaid workers. (After all, where would the extra 184 billion dollars come from to do all this good work?)
While volunteers do not see financial gain from their efforts, they reap confidence, make friends, expand career opportunities, learn new skills and more. Grab hold of a cause which aligns with your skills, career or passion and volunteer today. You will be glad you did.
And, if you already do — we thank you!