The estimated value of volunteer time for 2016 is $24.14 per hour, according to Independent Sector, a coalition of charities, foundations, corporations, and individuals that publishes research important to the nonprofit sector. It reports annual statistics on the estimated dollar value of volunteer time, including historical values back to 1980 and values for each state. (Note, there is a lag of almost one year in the government's release of data.)
More statistics on volunteers in the US and abroad can be found on Energize, Inc's Statistics on Volunteering page.
Nonprofits typically use the value of volunteer time to demonstrate the support they receive from their communities. Independent Sector advises that if your organization plans to report the value of volunteer services in external financial statements, including grant proposals, you will need to follow generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), established by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which state:
Contributions of services shall be recognized if the services received:
- create or enhance nonfinancial assets; or
- require specialized skills, are provided by individuals possessing those skills, and would typically need to be purchased if not provided by donation. Services requiring specialized skills are provided by accountants, architects, carpenters, doctors, electricians, lawyers, nurses, plumbers, teachers, and other professionals and craftsmen.
Per IRS, nonprofits may not report volunteer time as contributions in line 1 of Parts II or III of Form 990, Schedule A. It may be described in Form 990, Part III, Statement of Program Service Accomplishments.
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