on August 02, 2012
A volunteer hour means a lot. It’s a representation of the time, talents, and energy someone dedicates to making a difference. In urban forestry, nonprofit and community organizations depend on volunteers to plant trees, care for trees, and ensure the longevity of their local community forests. It’s not uncommon for the value of volunteer time to be used to recognize volunteers or to show the amount of community support an organization is receiving, but this value can also be used for grant proposals, annual reports, and on statements for internal and external purposes.
Each year, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Independent Sector place a value on this time. Nonprofit organizations can use this value to quantify the enormous value their volunteers provide. The estimated national value of volunteer time in 2011 (it’s always a year behind) is $21.79 per hour. Here in California, the rate is even higher – $24.18.
That’s great news for grassroots California urban and community forestry organizations! Last year, over 208,000 hours were volunteered to ReLeaf Network members. That work is valued at $5,041,288 – just under half a million dollars more than it would have been valued at the national level. We’re happy to see that California values volunteers so highly!