Why Hour Tracking is Important
501 Commons requires all volunteers to keep track of their time spent working on client projects and 501 Commons-related administrative projects. Your generous donation of time and expertise is what drives 501 Commons, and by tracking the number of hours you volunteer, we are able to show potential funders the value of work 501 Commons provides for its clients at an affordable rate. For instance, an average 20-hour project with 501 Commons will cost the client $900 – but the market value of the work we provide is $4,000!
We also use volunteer hours information for project management purposes. Client projects are contracted at a specific fee, based on the estimated number of hours the project will take. If the project takes significantly more, or fewer, hours than originally estimated, we may make adjustments to the terms of the contract. However, there is no direct relationship between the hours reported by our consultants and the bill presented to the client at the end of the project.
The value of Executive Service Corps members' time is also reported on 501 Commons financials. Being able to show funders that we match their dollars with earned income and with approximately $1.5 in contributed time makes 501 Commons more attractive when competing for grant funds.
How to Track Your Hours
Some special projects might require the use of a formal timesheet, but in general 501 Commons does not require that you keep track of your time in any particular way – just that you do keep track.
If you were working on multiple projects, please indicate which client and the number of hours you contributed to their project. If you have no hours, please respond with this information as well.
Hours that count towards your project include:
- Any time researching the organization and reading materials related to the project.
- Any program-related meetings including planning meetings, consultant check-ins, and meetings with 501 Commons staff.
- Any program-related communications including phone calls, emails, and messages.
- Anytime you are thinking, reading materials, researching, discussing, or working on this project.
- Travel time does not count.
Responding to Monthly Hour Requests
At the beginning of every month, Isabel Cunningham, our Operations Coordinator, sends out email requests to those who worked on a project in the past month. Just reply back to that email with your total hours for the month, separated by project if you are working on multiple projects. If you are not currently working on a project or have no hours to report, please reply back with that information.
Your quick response is so appreciated!
For further questions, you can email Isabel at email@example.com.