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to 2002 Archives
| ~ February 2002 Topics
- New Hourly Value of Volunteer Time
- Tax Deductions for Volunteers
- Volunteers as Recruiters
- Volunteer of the Month Awards
- Speaking to Senior Citizens
What is considered the pay rate per hour for volunteers if they were to
be paid? Thanks!
At the end of January, there was a multi-thread discussion on the CyberVPM
listserv about this very question! The latest information on the value
of volunteer time is from Independent Sector
http://www.independentsector.org. For 2000 (the most recent rate), it
is $15.39 per hour. Remember, this isn't an hourly pay rate for volunteers.
It is the "value of volunteer time. The figure is calculated by
taking the average hourly wage for nonagricultural workers in 2000 as
published in the Economic Report of the President (2001 Edition) and
increasing it by 12% to estimate fringe benefits. According to consultant
and author Steve McCurley, you don't have to wait for IS to update its
figure every year. If you want to see the Bureau of Labor Statistics
average hourly wage figures on a much more current basis, visit http://www.bls.gov/eag/eag.us.htm
and look at the row for "average hourly wage." You can even
regionalize it by following the link at "average hourly wage."
Add to that rate a percentage increase for benefits (you could even
use the percentage that your organization uses) and you have the current
How can a volunteer get tax deductions for their volunteer hours? Is
it by mileage/year or by hours served? Must we assign a value to their
hours worked? If so, is there a formula to do this?
First, if your volunteers have specific tax questions I recommend that
they talk to a tax expert (their accountant, tax return preparer, or
even the IRS) and that you not try to give them tax advice. It's tricky
at best and everyone situation is a little different. My understanding,
and I'm not tax expert, is that volunteers can deduct only out of pocket
expenses incurred when volunteering for a nonprofit organization (mileage,
parking, tolls, photocopies, offices supplies for the organization,
uniforms, etc.). In other words, deductions do not apply to the hours
that volunteers contribute, but only to money given or spent in connection
with the volunteer service.
I work with Girl Scouts. It is difficult to recruit adults to be leaders.
Can you tell me innovative ways or locations to recruit? I have to get
77 adults by March 31. Please help!
What about utilizing your current corps of volunteers as recruiters?
If possible convene them as a group and challenge them to each bring
in one new volunteer leader. Give them information packets, tell them
what/who you're looking for, what volunteer jobs need to be filled,
etc. In other words, arm them with the information they need to do the
recruiting and turn it into a project. You can create your own team
of recruiters! Good luck!
I'm trying to start a volunteer of the month program in our organization.
Do you have any ideas for criteria for picking a volunteer of the month?
I believe that it works well ONLY when there is quantifiable, objective
criteria - such as number of hours worked, number of tickets sold, $$
raised, etc. (This assumes that there is a system in place at your organization
to track such things accurately.) The risk of recognizing only one individual
monthly is that it sets up artificial competition that's contrary to
the purpose of recognition (to recognize ALL volunteers for the time
and talents they contribute). Competition can also easily lead to volunteers
forgetting about how important it is to accomplish an organization's
mission and focusing instead on the numbers required to receive the
monthly "award." I know many organizations have monthly or
annual awards, but I personally vote for recognizing volunteer's leaders
and all volunteers in appropriate ways.
I'm employed at a church and work with many volunteers. I've been asked
to give a 45-minute talk at a nursing home for a conference targeting
seniors on volunteerism. My talk will be on addressing the fact that
we are never too old to volunteer and, in fact, as Christian (which
all of these folks will be) we are called to serve. I would like to
open my talk with some general comments and perhaps some statistics
on volunteerism such as why people volunteer, why people don't volunteer,
why volunteer is so important, etc. Do you know where I can access this
information? And, if you were me, and you were speaking to a group of
senior citizens trying to motivate them to volunteer, on what would
First, check out two web sites for statistics:
- First, visit Independent Sector at http://www.independentsector.org,
where you'll find plenty of statistics. They even have a booklet on
senior citizens as volunteers that you can order.
- Second, visit the AARP web site at http://www.aarp.org. I'm sure
there will be some information there that you can weave into your
I would focus on WIIFM (what's in it for me?) - a
wide variety of volunteer opportunities available for any interest,
gain new skills, meet new friends, have fun, make a difference in the
community, helping others helps you, etc. Most people, of any age, are
motivated by not only the difference they can make but also the difference
it will make for them.
Do you have a question? Now you too
can ask an expert!
Connie Pirtle, of Strategic
NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers.
She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington
National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America,
and the Association for Volunteer Administration.
Send your questions to Connie
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
2939 Van Ness NW Street, Suite 1248 Washington,
VOICE: 202-966-0859 FAX: 202-966-3301
Copyright 2002 by Nancy Macduff.
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