Not all volunteer work is equally valuable to your organization.
A question posted on the ALUMNI-L listserv this week said, in part:
...Our alumni office has been asked to provide a monetary value for alumni volunteer service using $21.36 as the value of an hour of service as reported by the Independent Sector. We are estimating how many hours of volunteer service alumni provide.
A few years ago I almost fell into the same trap. I had read the same report, which says:
The value of volunteer time is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and nonsupervisory workers on private nonfarm payrolls (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Independent Sector takes this figure and increases it by 12 percent to estimate for fringe benefits.
Based on this, I mentioned a rough valuation of alumni board members' hours in an email to my board's executive committee. The volunteer president of the board pointed out that he had recently facilitated our all-day alumni staff retreat, a consulting function for which he would have been paid more than $500 per hour in his private sector position.
Extreme example? Maybe. But the point is that you should go with $21.36 per hour only for estimating the value of "production and nonsupervisory" volunteer output (such as handing out nametags or sticking labels on envelopes).
To honor the professional expertise and high-level insight that successful professionals bring to volunteer leadership roles, assess their contributions as well, but do it at the appropriate level of value.
If they're truly leading the organization, their time is worth much more than $21 per hour.