Will Volunteer Tracking Help Calculate The Value of Volunteer Time? | Track It Forward

Will Volunteer Tracking Help Calculate The Value of Volunteer Time?

Written by Kasey Murphy

If you don’t know by now, volunteer tracking is a new way to organize your volunteer program. If you are a volunteer coordinator or volunteer manager, you need to be volunteer tracking. Volunteer time tracking, in particular, has numerous benefits to not only help volunteer programs feel organized but also to help volunteer managers and coordinators evaluate their management tactics. 

Volunteer tracking is the act of following and recording volunteer’s acts, time spent volunteering, donation efforts, fundraising efforts - anything that a volunteer does, it is tracked! Volunteer time tracking is an important subset of volunteer tracking, which allows volunteer’s time to be analyzed in data format through reports. 

The benefits of volunteer tracking are astronomical, we will list them below. But, specifically in this article, we are going to discuss how volunteer tracking and the value of volunteers and volunteer time can be correlated. 

BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEER TRACKING

You are able to see which volunteers are putting in extra work and which might need more motivation.

Specific volunteer activities can be evaluated to see if participation is higher towards certain events or towards others.

You can give out awards for volunteer time milestones.

Volunteers can be scheduled in a more organized fashion. 

You can accurately connect event success to volunteers if you do A/B testing on how many volunteers, etc. 

Categories of volunteerism can be detected and results of events and data can help determine new events.

If you are interested in how volunteer tracking specifically can be beneficial to your organization, check out these success stories of organizations that have used volunteer tracking and improved their volunteer program because of it. 

Different Ways to Calculate The Value Of Volunteer Time 

The value of volunteer time is an extremely crucial metric to evaluate for volunteer programs because you do not want your volunteer’s work to go to waste. Volunteers can suffer from burnout, or if they don’t feel that their work is making an impact, they might leave. 

Part of a successful volunteer program is having volunteers who know they are being impactful and stay. The only way a volunteer can know this is if the organization knows this! 

There are a few different perspectives to look at the value of volunteer time. But, all of them require volunteer tracking and accurate time tracked to work. 

Independent Sector Value 

Independent Sector values volunteer time by giving it a monetary value each year. They have a method they have been using for years due to excess research on different nonprofit areas and the amount of money they profit and use yearly. 

The specific method they use can be found here. 

For 2020, volunteers were expected to be worth $27.20 per hour volunteered. So, with your volunteer tracking technology or software, you can pull data for how many hours volunteers did per year, and calculate the value of volunteer hours like that! 

Money Brought In 

If you would like to get more specific to your specific organization, you can use volunteer tracking software to assign monetary values that specific volunteers might have brought in from donations or fundraising. 

You could also take larger donations or amounts of money raised through multiple efforts or volunteer events and divide this between volunteers (after subtracting money put into the event and paid staff wages). This would then give you a total from all the money raised and entered into the organization, and how much each volunteer contributed in a monetary amount. 

Minimum Wage Point of View 

Lastly, you could look at how much it would cost your organization to pay people to put in work that volunteers do. So, thinking of minimum wage for your state - how much your organization has to pay if the volunteers were incentivized by money instead of volunteering out of free will? 

This is another way to calculate the value of volunteer time, in the perspective of seeing how much money has been saved by your organization not having to pay volunteers for work! 

Why is Calculating The Value of Volunteer Time Necessary? 

The value of volunteer time can help put volunteer work into perspective for some people, just like volunteer tracking can. 

For example, if you are able to tell a volunteer, “You’ve put 100 volunteer hours into our organization, thank you, you’ve saved our organization $800 through volunteering.” This is a great way for them to be able to process the work that they have done and how they have made an impact. 

Volunteering works in a big cycle. Your organization needs volunteers to get work done and raise money towards deserving causes → volunteers need the motivation to keep spending time volunteering → volunteers feel appreciated and see their impact → volunteers keep signing up to volunteer. 

In addition, calculating the value of volunteer time and volunteer tracking is good for some organizations to be considered for certain legal titles and grants! 

How To Start Volunteer Tracking 

We know volunteer tracking might sound like a hard thing to do, but it really is not if you use a tool like Track It Forward. Here are the steps. 

  1. Choose how you want to track volunteer time. (You can do hour logs, check-in kiosks, or event calendar RSVP methods!) 

  2. Set up the software to collect additional information and data that you might want to collect with volunteer tracking. (Categories of activity, volunteer leader of activity, level of happiness with an event, anything!) 

  3. Run reports on volunteer activity, volunteers, or everyone all together to get data! 

It’s pretty simple - volunteer tracking can provide useful information to your organization for tax forms, grants, legal forms, and volunteer motivation and appreciation tactics. 

And a tool like Track It Forward can easily provide you with access to automate volunteer tracking as much as possible!