Volunteers in Canada and USA contribute a considerable amount of time, energy and skills to groups and organizations. In 2011, 64.3 million Americans volunteered a total of almost 8 billion hours1! In 2010, 17 million Canadians volunteered 2.1 billion hours. 2
In 2011 the estimated value of volunteer time is $21.79 3. The average volunteer contributes about 28 days a year, 3 hours for each day. 3
This got me thinking about Soroptimist and how much value we contribute. According to The 2009 Kerr & Downs Research Survey, the average Soroptimist was a member for 10 years. In Soroptimist International of the America’s we currently have 35, 141 members. ALL are volunteers.
Based on the average of 28 days a year/3 hours/day here is our COLLECTIVE IMPACT over 10 years:
Drum roll please…
9, 839,480 days of service,
1, 054,230 hours,
for a total of:
So what are to make of all of this? Can we put a price of the value of our work? I argue that although these numbers are truly impressive just counting the numbers doesn’t tell the whole story of Soroptimist, the work we do, and the social impact of our work.
Here is the rest of the story… Our work is to improve the lives of women and girls. We help them go forward with the courage to do great things for themselves, their families, communities and the world. Our collective efforts have made a difference in the lives of women and girls all over the world. Since 1972, our Soroptimist Women’s Opportunity Award has disbursed more than $25 million in educational grants through this program to help tens of thousands of women triumph over domestic violence, poverty, drug abuse, gender discrimination and other challenges to reclaim their dreams.
In 2010-2011, the financial and personal impact of the Women’s Opportunity Awards program was impressive. For the seventh year in a row, about $1.5 million in education grants were disbursed in club, region and federation funds. In 2010-2011, 1,037 clubs gave awards to a combined total of 1,221 women.
I think most Soroptimist’s would agree with me when I say that our work contributes to more than money can buy. So, is there a value for empowering women to be all they can be? Yes there is… and its priceless!
3.http://www.independentsector.org/volunteer_timeWhat are all these people doing?