Volunteers increase capacity, are cost effective and extend a nonprofit’s reach. They have value, even though the value of their services may not meet the criteria for recognition in financial statements.

The Independent Sector has released the new value of volunteer time - $22.14 per hour for 2012. This represents an increase of 35 cents from 2011.

The value of a volunteer by hour in California is $24.75 for 2011 (note that 2011 is the latest year for which state-by-state numbers are available. There is a lag of a year in the government’s release of state level data which explains why the state volunteering values are one year behind the national value). For detail on how the numbers are calculated, refer to http://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_time

Consider recognizing the contribution volunteers make through a footnote such as the following:

Donated volunteer services are not reflected in the accompanying financial statements, however in 2012 more than 2,500 volunteers donated 30,000 hours in support of the Organization’s program services, management and fundraising activities, valued at an estimated $742,500 (the value of volunteer time is calculated annually by The Independent Sector).

And as a reminder of the accounting rules,

FASB ASC 958-605-25-16 requires that contributions of services be recognized in the accounting records if the services received meet any of the following criteria:

  1. They create or enhance a nonfinancial asset (nonfinancial assets include land, buildings, use of facilities or utilities, materials and supplies, intangible assets, or services)
  2. b. They (i) require specialized skills, (ii) are provided by individuals possessing those skills and (iii) would typically need to be purchased by the organization if they had not been provided by donation. Services requiring specialized skills are those provided by accountants, architects, carpenters, doctors, electricians, lawyers, nurses, plumbers, teachers, and other professionals and craftspeople
Wilson Donella halfbody

Donella Wilson

Donella Wilson, CPA, leads GHJ’s Nonprofit Practice and is also President and Chief Philanthropy Officer of GHJ Foundation, GHJ’s vehicle for purposeful and proactive giving to the community. A leader in both the nonprofit and accounting communities, Donella was named a finalist in the 2021 Los…Learn More