the silver guide to non-monetary transactions

2.1.2. Evaluating contributions received in the form of services

Office or management work performed free of charge by a professional:

Ask the donor for a document indicating the market value of the services provided free of charge (i.e., the price they would usually charge for these goods or services). A donation of services is not eligible for a charitable tax receipt (see Section 5.3, and Diagram 3 in the Toolkit)

See the template Agreement Contribution in the Toolkit

Media placement, transportation, or other service providers:

If the donor is a merchant, ask for an invoice indicating the retail price and the amount of the donation (or discount).

See the templates Invoice for donation 1 and Invoice for donation 2 in the Toolkit

Volunteer labour:

In general, volunteer labour is not recorded in an organization’s income and expenses for two reasons:

  • 1. Evaluating its fair value is too difficult;
  • 2. The organization does not have the financial ability to purchase these services and therefore the third condition for accounting (that the organization would have otherwise purchased the service) cannot be met.

However, such information can be included in the notes to the financial statements (see example of note below).

Example 1 - volunteer labour not accounted in financial statements

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Volunteers devote approximately 500 hours (750 in 20XX) per year to help organization ABC provide its services. Due to the difficulty in determining the fair value of contributions received in the form of services, these contributions are not recognized in their financial statements.

If an organization determines that it does meet the third condition (i.e., that it would have otherwise purchased these services), the basis for this evaluation should be provided — for example, by obtaining an estimate of the hourly rate for similar services, or by using an existing wage policy.

See Pay scales in the Toolkit

To disclose this information in its financial statements—whether in the organization’s revenues or in the notes—the organization must implement a system to collect the information. An example of such a system could be a register in which the volunteer records their name, the date they volunteered, and the event or activity for which they volunteered.

see the template Volunteer registry in the Toolkit