U.S. Volunteer Time Worth $188 Billion

The value of volunteers’ time hit a record high in 2015, an estimated $23.56 per hour nationwide. The sum represents more than a $1 increase compared to the figure in 2013.

Volunteering hours for 2015 are not yet available but even if they stayed at 2014’s 7.96 billion hours, they would be valued at roughly $188 billion.

The announcement was made on Thursday by leaders of Independent Sector, a Washington, D.C.-based network of organizations, foundations and corporations. It coincides with National Volunteer Week, which runs through April 16.

“Volunteerism is one of society’s most valuable resources,” said Tracy Hoover, CEO of Points of Light, an Atlanta, Ga.-based volunteerism organization, in a release. “Having clear and specific data to demonstrate the impact of volunteers is critical to inspiring and mobilizing more people to discover and apply their changemaking power in communities across the country.”

The value of volunteer time increased in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Nevada (up 5.9 percent to $20.98), Delaware (up 5.7 percent to $21.37) and Washington (up 5.3 percent to $28.99) saw the greatest increases in the per-hour value of volunteerism, according to a map created by Independent Sector.

Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico and Wyoming all saw modest decreases, the greatest of which was Wyoming’s 1.4-percent drop to $23.13 per hour. Missouri’s average volunteer value stayed flat at $21.31 per hour from 2014 to 2015.

Volunteers in the District of Columba ($38.77 per hour), Massachusetts ($29.00 per hour) and Washington ($28.99 per hour) provide organizations with the greatest value, according to the report. Arkansas ($19.14 per hour), Mississippi ($19.51 per hour), and New Mexico ($19.91 per hour) reside on the opposite end of the spectrum.

The value of a volunteer hour stood at $23.07 in 2014. The Corporation for National and Community Service announced in December that 62.8 million adults volunteered 7.96 billion hours of their time in 2014 – accounting for over a quarter of American adults. The collective value of the hours was estimated at $184 billion.