Valuing Volunteers – Minor Hockey

In my last volunteering post I found statistics canada data which noted that the replacement cost value of volunteering was estimated to be around double that of donations received in “core non-profits” and around 10x in “Hospitals, Universities and Colleges.”

This information made me wonder, “What is the dollar value of the hours donated to a minor hockey team?” I thought I’d start with the most inexpensive teams like H3 Initiation. The “Stats Can” data implies that the volunteer effort would be somewhere between 2x and 6x that of the club fees. This gives us the whopping number of $15k to $45k of volunteer effort ❗ Could this be correct ❓ I thought it would be interesting to work it out. ( $15k = 15 * $500 * 2 & $45k = 15 * $500 * 6.)

Data

  • 3 hours of ice per week ( 2 practices and 1 game)
  • ~25 weeks ( Sept/early-March )
  • 1 head coach, 1 manager, 1 ass’t coach/safety, 1 ass’t coach
  • Assume 15 players @ $500 per year club fees.

Hours Estimation ~ 600 hours

Total of 625 hours per season ( 25 weeks * 25 hours per week)

  • Head Coach – 8 hours per week. ( 3 hrs on ice + 3 hrs prep + 2 hrs misc )
  • Manager – 8 hours per week.
  • Ass’t Coach #1/Safety – 4 hrs per week. ( 3 hrs ice + 1 hr misc )
  • Ass’t Coach #2 – 4 hrs per week. ( 3 hr ice + 1 hour misc )
  • TimeKeeper/Scorekeeper – 1 hr per week ( Assume ~ 12 home games)
  • All the other multitude of little things are rolled into Mgr & Heach Coach.
  • This accounts for selection month madness, a tournament, and parties.
  • Total per Week == 25 hours ( a low ball estimate would be 20 hours ).

Q. What are 600 volunteer hours worth? A. $15k to $30k.

Good question. Do you measure it as “in kind” or “in opportunity cost for the parent volunteering?” I think that for the volunteer in question it is opportunity cost, they are taking time away from something to volunteer. If you get a highly paid individual to volunteer they usually bring something special to the team which can’t be replaced. So what is it? In our neighborhood stats canada says we’re around $50/hour. (I interpret this estimate to be a low-end estimate because it includes all of our neighbourhood, and the families playing hockey are in the prime of their careers.) Using this number provides the estimate of $30k = $50/hr * 600 hours. This is 4x the club fees and smack in the middle of the stats can number. If you value it “in kind” it works out to $15k = $25/hr * 600 hours which is the 2x Stats Can ratio.

This $30k is Realistic

I think the $30k number is more realistic because I haven’t added in the cost of a Minor Hockey Association’s Board of Directors and other non-team related volunteers who make the whole show survive. These people give beyond the call of duty ❗ For example, my colleague hockey Dave sits on a disciplinary committee. I can’t imagine 👿

What Does This All Mean?

This information can be used in all sorts of ways. For me it is just a data point to understand just how much it really takes to run a “community team”. A lot. It also provides a metric for those who can only help by giving cash. It can also be used in the wrong way (ie to bash non-volunteers) that is not my intention.

Update: Sun Feb 25. I cleaned this up this morning. Added in “what does this all mean, “in kind” estimate, and links to job descriptions for Head Coach, Manager, and Division Coordinator.

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