Volunteer Hours: The Best Kept Secret for In-Kind Matching

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Following up on my recent post about volunteer recruitment, I'd like to remind our loyal readers of something very important that I cover in every grant training, volunteer hours. It is extremely important that every nonprofit have a process for documenting and recording volunteer hours. Not only does this help when it comes to recognizing outstanding volunteers, documented volunteer hours can often translate directly into real dollars for your organization.

 If you are not recording volunteer hours in your organization, start now! Many grants require “matching funds” and often, matches can be made in the form of “in-kind” contributions. Volunteer hours can be an incredible asset when used as an in-kind contribution to meet a match requirement. I once met a hundred thousand dollar match requirement for a grant that allowed in-kind matching with volunteer hours alone.

To determine the value of volunteer hours, simply do an internet search for “value of volunteer hours.” Several organizations publish this figure. It may be helpful to include your state in the search as volunteer hours are worth more in some states than others.

Don’t think your organization has enough volunteers for this to make a difference? Think again! Independent Sector, one organization that publishes the value of volunteer hours, states that volunteer time is currently worth $24.14 per hour. At the current rate, four volunteers, engaged just 20 hours per week, would easily be worth over $100,000.

Ginger Keller-Ferguson

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