Volunteer time recognition (VTR) in projects supported by the European Youth Foundation
At its meeting in December 2013, the Programming Committee on Youth agreed on a method to recognise the time given by volunteers to youth activities supported by the European Youth Foundation. This concerns EYF grant applications and reports for work plans, international activities and pilot activities.
The methodology used to calculate volunteer time recognition (VTR) is based on specific criteria (see below) as well as trust and transparency on the part of NGOs registered with the EYF and applying for a grant.
After a first evaluation of the 2-year trial period 2014-2015, the Joint Council on Youth decided to extend this period for two more years, until the end of 2017. In March 2018, it decided to integrate definitively VTR in EYF grants.
The EYF is the first European structure of its kind to officially acknowledge the work of young volunteers in its grant system.
In June 2023, the percentage of VTR allowed was increased from 10% to 15% following a decision of the Programming Committee on Youth.
Volunteer time recognition is a contribution/support/input people provide of their own free will to invest time and service for the benefit of a youth activity implemented by a non-profit-making youth- led organisation, and for which there is no monetary or in-kind payment (e.g. fees, salaries).
- The reimbursement of actual costs incurred to carry out the voluntary work is not considered as payment (e.g. travel costs, food, accommodation).
- The voluntary work cannot be part of a contractual obligation. If an employee of the NGO performs additional “voluntary” duties these will not be eligible.
- The valorisation of volunteers’ time can only contribute to part of the co-funding for EYF activities in which co-funding is required.
The hourly value of VTR is to be determined by each individual organisation, taking various factors into account, such as:
- the minimum wage in the country where the activity is taking place (e.g. SMIC in France);
- the contractual salary of the executives and other employees of the organisation;
- the cost of a salaried replacement.
Organisations are urged to use a reasonable, clear and transparent calculation system as the EYF reserves the right to ask for further information/documentation regarding the specific calculation of the hourly value, if needed.
The Programming Committee on Youth established a threshold for the total of VTR that can be recognised as co-funding:
- maximum 15% of the foreseen budget for applications;
- maximum 15% of the real costs for reporting.
These percentages are to be applied starting from the international activities and annual work plans approved at the 1 April 2023 deadline.
A calculation table has been included in the budget tables (application and report). See forms & guidelines.
Information needed by the EYF to ensure assessment of VTR
Application forms (international and pilot activities):
- In the “process” field on the “project team” page, organisations are asked to describe the role of the volunteers and the amount of time foreseen to perform specific tasks while participating in the activity.
- On the “expenditure” page, organisations must break down the calculation of the valorisation (VTR) in the budget line “other” (use the additional field “description” to provide details).
- In the “income” section the valorisation (VTR) needs to be indicated as a source of co-funding.
Report forms (international and pilot activities):
- In the “process” field on the “project team” page, organisations are asked to explain the actual role and involvement of any volunteers in the activity. If this information differs from the information provided in the application, the organisation should explain the reasons why and the added value of the changes.
- On the “expenditure” page, organisations must present the final calculation of the valorization in the budget line “other” (use the additional field “description” to provide details).
- In the “income” section, the final calculation of the valorisation needs to be indicated as a source of co-funding.
Documentation required with the activity and financial report
- An individual declaration signed jointly by each volunteer and the legal representative of the benefiting organisation containing the following information:
- voluntary nature of the time and service provided to the activity without any contractual obligation to do so;
- description of the tasks/contribution to the activity by each volunteer;
- number of hours/days spent by the volunteer on the activity;
- Proof of the physical presence of each volunteer (e.g. boarding pass).