When a grant application requires a match, most organizations will find it "in-kind." And, often much of the in-kind comes from volunteer hours. After all, where would non-profits be without volunteer hours? Many programs just couldn't fly.
So, how much are volunteer hours worth?
Independent Sector makes a rate available each year that's accepted by the Feds— currently $19.51/hour. They also list the value of a volunteer hour by state -- in NY state, where I am, the 2006 value was $26.18.
In addition, if a professional volunteers their professional services you can value them at their standard billing rates. Make sure you have documentation from them about their rate.
Points of Light Institute now has a calculator that uses Department of Labor rates to assign acceptable values for different kinds of volunteer labor. Careful, though. The rate is for the work, not the person, so, using the example from the Independent Sector, a doctor volunteering to paint a fence is worth a painters rate, not an MD's.
My clients use these different rates without any problem for both the grant application match and for valuing the documented in-kind hours for reporting purposes.
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