Independent Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of philanthropic organizations dedicated to strengthening the nonprofit sector, has announced that the value of a volunteer hour was $18.04 in 2005, up 49 cents from a year earlier.
The estimate, updated annually, is based on the average hourly earnings of all non-agricultural workers as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. To arrive at the figure, Independent Sector took the BLS number and increased it by 12 percent to allow for fringe benefits. Nationally, IS estimates the total value of hours volunteered in 2004 was equivalent to approximately $280 billion of contributed services, assuming the total number of volunteer hours held constant from previous years.
"It is a challenge to place a dollar value on the important work volunteers do for millions of charitable organizations and communities across the country," said IS president and CEO Diana Aviv. "But this number can help put into perspective the enormous contributions provided by our nation's volunteers."