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VT readers ask questions about volunteer management and administration. Ask Connie, an experienced volunteer manager, consultant and trainer, provides the answers for all to see.
Send questions to AskConnieP@cs.com

~ August 2004 ~ Topics

Dear Connie:

What is the dollar value of volunteers at present? I know it was $16.54 per hour, but I'm not sure if it has been raised since. Thanks!



Dear Hilda:

The estimated dollar value of volunteer time is $17.19 per hour for 2003, according to Independent Money Bag ImageSector (http://www.independentsector.org). This value of volunteer time is based on the average hourly earnings of all production and non-supervisory workers on private non-farm payrolls (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Independent Sector takes this figure and increases it by 12% to estimate for fringe benefits.

*Note to Readers: Independent Sector's Giving and Volunteering in the United States Signature Series provides a comprehensive picture of the giving and volunteering habits of Americans. Based on a national survey of more than 4,000 adults, this series of reports explores the why, how, and who behind the extraordinary everyday generosity - both in time and money - of American households. For example, did you know that 44% of adults (18 and older) volunteer and 83.9 million American adults volunteer, representing the equivalent of more than 9 million full-time employees at a value of $239 billion?

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Dear Connie:

I am putting together a Volunteer Development conference for my association, the Pennsylvania Association of Mortgage Brokers. In PA, there are approximately 2,500 licensed mortgage brokers of which 400+ belong to the association. We have a small committed group of volunteers plus one paid executive director and assistant who do a commendable job running the PAMB. We recognize, though, that with a small group we will shortly burn out our volunteer corps unless we can develop an army of volunteers to get involved. Therein lies the reason for the conference and this email. We are trying to "turn on" about 30 - 50 more people to volunteer and I am looking for an articles or information that would enable me to attach words to the value of volunteering. Can you Workers Imagehelp me? Please?



Dear Larry:

The "benefits of volunteering" vary depending on the volunteer opportunities (the tasks volunteers perform or the positions they hold) and the organization. Some that come to mind for your association are:

  • Meet new people
  • Gain new skills (name them)
  • Participate in community education programs
  • Pubic speaking opportunities
  • Increase professional contacts and networks
  • Lead industry education courses
  • Strengthen leadership skills
I noticed on the PAMB website that there was no mention of how to become a volunteer for the association or any description of the ways in which volunteers support the association. This would be a good place to start recruiting volunteers! Create a page describing the volunteer opportunities and provide a link to get more information.
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Dear Connie:

I am a new volunteer coordinator with a humane society in Wisconsin. I am trying to locate apparel for volunteers, i.e., lightweight vests. With the busy day-to-day activities of our organization and turnover of staff and volunteers, we struggle with identifying the volunteers. Any suggestions regarding where we could locate this apparel or better identify these folks? Thank you.



Dear Kami:

It has been my experience that volunteers like to wear knit polo shirts, denim shirts, and T-shirts best. They are easy to care for and comfortable to wear. Vests work too for the same reasons. Depending on how many volunteers you have, you can order these items with your logo embroidered or imprinted on them fairly inexpensively.

I recommend that you provide volunteers with at least two of the "uniforms" so that they will always have a clean one handy. Also, you'll want to put together some simple policies about how to wear the item (e.g., tucked in or not) and its condition (clean, pressed, whatever). You'll also want volunteers to know that you'll happily provide new items when old ones wear out or become soiled.

Some "uniform" companies that I found after a quick online search are:

  • Flatlander Company Logo Wear: http://www.flatlander.com/difference.htm
  • Lands End: http://www.landsend.com/business
  • Blank Shirts Company: http://www.blankshirts.com
  • American Apparel: http://www.americanapparel.net

Since you're in Oshkosh, you might even be able to get Oshkosh B'Gosh to donate items that you can have your logo imprinted on yourself.

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Do you have a question? Now you too can ask an expert!

Connie Pirtle, of Strategic NonProfit-Resources, has 15 years' experience in working with volunteers. She has consulted and/or trained for such organizations as the Washington National Cathedral, Anchorage Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Music America, and the Association for Volunteer Administration.

Send your questions to Connie at AskConnieP@cs.com.
Connie Pirtle
Strategic Nonprofit Resources
10103 Edward Avenue * Bethesda, MD 20814 * VOICE: 301-530-8233 * FAX: 301-530-8299

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