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Is Assigning a Financial Value to Volunteering a Good Idea?

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There has recently been a flurry of publications in several countries discussing the way that organizations might present the "value" of volunteering in terms of cash equivalents. In the US, a major national nonprofit currently provides the figure of US$16.05/hour as the average dollar value of a volunteer hour, which is used by many American organizations. Yet there are all sorts of questions about how this figure is calculated each year and how it ought to be applied. Even more fundamental is the controversy over whether or not it is appropriate to "reduce" volunteering to monetary terms; some feel it is a wrong approach to take, others feel it is the only way to grab the attention of decision-makers. This Keyboard Roundtable tackles the issues.