32. Valuing Trustees

How do we put a value on our trustees, why would we?

Sometimes it can be useful to put a monetary value on the contribution of the committee. For unfunded organisations this can help show the value of the organisation to those more familiar with financial information. Perhaps the most useful purpose is to use the figures calculated this way to demonstrate match funding when raising funds. It can sometimes be useful in organisations with staff to demonstrate the value of the committee in financial terms if their value is not obvious to the staff.

How do we do it?

Essentially you put a financial value on the trustee’s time (per hour) and then add up the total number of hours per year that the trustees give to the organization. How much a trustee’s time is worth is not an exact science. At the absolute minimum it must be at or above the minimum wage (currently around £6 per hour). Some take the view that trustee time should be costed at the same rate of a senior manager (£20 – 30 per hour). Those members of the committee with specialist knowledge or onerous roles could be costed at a rate equivalent to a consultant or professional (at least for a proportion of their hours – say £30 per hour upwards).

Is there a recognised method of calculating the value?

The most widely recognised method is called VIVA (Volunteer Investment and Value Audit) and is widely recognised.  There is a general guide to measuring the economic value of volunteering on the  Volunteering England website or a you can download guidelines to help you calculate the value of your trustees from the Institute for Volunteering. This will help you put a figure on the value of each trustee on the committee in order to reach a grand total.

What is the best way of presenting the information?

Your final calculation gives you a single figure which is the financial value of the committee and is useful to have to quote in funding bids as a match funding figure.

However, you may want to show the return on the grant makers “investment”. To calculate return on investment (ROI) you add up what yo spend on the trustees (usually not a lot) and divide that figure into your total. For example, if your trustees’ time is worth £5000 and you spend £500 on them then the ROI is 10 which means that for every £1 invested in the trustees the organization gets £10 of value back.

Alternatively you could present the figure in terms of the equivalent number of full time staff that the trustees are equal to. This method works well for other volunteers and organisations that use a lot of volunteers but it tends to work less well for trustees unless your trustees are spending a lot of time on the organization. For example, 10 trustees spending 2 hours a week equals a total of 20 hours. Assuming full time staff work a 40 hour week this could be expressed as ½ of a full time staff members (½ full time equivalent (FTE)).

Where can I learn more?

Both the  Institute for Volunteering Research and Volunteering England have further information on VIVA.
This topic is often more broadly known as Social Return on Investment.

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A Word About Words

This site is aimed at those who govern (control) small organisations - whether they are charities, companies, both or neither. Those who govern them may be called a variety of names. We have chosen to use mainly 'management committee' and occasionally 'committee member' or 'trustee'. more...
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