Author: <span>Sue Carter Kahl</span>

Volunteer value is rich and diverse, yet we tend not to report volunteer value beyond numbers, hours, and dollars. The flyer above (downloadable version here) is a new companion piece to my annual blog about using wage replacement rates for volunteer value. It outlines the benefits and limitations of these rates, such as the one…

Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Impact

In honor of National Volunteer Month, Independent Sector’s financial value of a volunteer hour is now live for 2024. This financial value is just one of many ways to track and report volunteer contributions. Check out an updated version of my annual blog (now living on its own web page): Value of a Volunteer Hour:…

Volunteer Impact

In my volunteer value workshops, participants snap a picture of one slide more than any other: the iceberg. It seems to capture what many of us struggle to put into words. What is visible about volunteer value is small compared to all the ways that volunteers add value. The iceberg image also helps reveal the…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Impact

I just finished reading Fr. Gregory Boyle’s Barking to the Choir. The following sentence hooked me and wouldn’t let go. “We always seem to be faced with this choice: to save the world or savor it. I want to propose that savoring is better, and that when we seek to ‘save’ and ‘contribute’ and ‘give…

Equity Making the Invisible Visible Reciprocity Reflecting and Learning

Reciprocity Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Worth

Volunteer numbers. Service hours. The financial value of volunteer time. These are the figures tucked into reports on volunteerism. It’s all well and good for compliance. Yet it doesn’t tell us much about if or how volunteers had an impact on the community. Isn’t that interesting? The things we report most tell us little about…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning Volunteer Impact

Volunteer Impact Volunteer Impact Insights

“One of the things I like about our agency,” said the Volunteer Manager, “is that we can do things just because they are nice*.” The faith-based foundation of her agency meant a Return on Values drove their work as much as a Return on Investment. Her comment stands as a stark counterpoint—or maybe a final…

Adaptive Leadership Holistic Leadership

When I taught strategic volunteer engagement, students often described their agencies’ work with volunteers as an afterthought. Sure, they involved volunteers, but there wasn’t much intention or investment in the effort. It seemed that having some volunteers in some roles was somewhat good enough. As if volunteers were just one more box to check, an…

Making the Invisible Visible Reflecting and Learning

Making the Invisible Visible Volunteer Impact Volunteer Worth