The Value of Volunteers
The San Marcos Greenbelt Alliance would not exist if not for its committed volunteers. Many who do volunteer find it rewarding and fun, a cool way to give back and plug into their community. For the past few years, SMGA has been tracking these volunteer hours. The main activities that are tracked are Stewardship, Conservation, Outreach and various administration tasks, which are many.
For those familiar with grant applications, volunteer hours are often helpful and sometimes necessary criteria in the application process. So tracking these hours will be very important as SMGA applies for grants. The City can also use this information in its grant applications. The City uses a conversion factor to estimate what monetary or “service value” SMGA provides. In 2019 at 4462 volunteer hours, the service value to the City was $112,003. This year—in spite of the pandemic—we are on track to submit at least 3849 volunteer hours with an estimated service value of $96,610.
Written by Diane Phalen, SMGA vice president and Trail Crew member.