The estimate is based on the average hourly earnings (plus 12 percent, to allow for fringe benefits) of all production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls as calculated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Announced during National Volunteer Week (April 10-16, 2016), a program of Independent Sector member Points of Light, the estimated value of a volunteer hour was highest in the District of Columbia ($38.77), followed by Massachusetts ($29), Washington ($28.99), Connecticut ($27.77), and California and New York ($27.59). While the value of volunteer time rose in most states — including Nevada ($20.98, up 5.9 percent from 2014), Delaware ($21.37, up 5.7 percent), and Virginia ($26.09, up 4.8 percent) — a handful of states, including Mississippi ($19.51, down 0.5 percent), saw modest declines.
According to data from the Corporation for National and Community Service, about 62.8 million Americans, or 25.3 percent of the adult population, contributed a total of 7.9 billion hours of service in 2014.
"Volunteers across the U.S. do incredibly important work — for their communities, their country, and the planet we share," said Independent Sector spokesperson Candy Hill. "National Volunteer Week, as it has for more than forty years, recognizes the scope of service in this country. And although we can't fully quantify the impact of volunteerism, these figures allow us to showcase the immense value of the time, talent, and efforts that volunteers give each and every day."
"Volunteerism is one of society's most valuable resources," said Points of Light CEO Tracy Hoover. "Having clear and specific data to demonstrate the impact of volunteers is critical to inspiring and mobilizing more people to discover and apply their changemaking power in communities across the country."