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Update Full-Time Equivalent (FTE)

Many businesses and organizations use 'full-time-equivalent employees,' or FTE' as a unit of measurement for counting employees. A full-time-employee is usually considered one who works 40 hours per week (although this number may vary by organization). Using FTE to describe the human resources allocated to - or needed to perform - a particular task lets you compare apples to apples. A department that has six half-time workers and a department that has three full-time workers both have three FTEs, as an example (because six half-time workers equal three full-time workers).

While volunteers are generally classified differently than employees, FTE can be a useful method for leaders of volunteer programs to describe the amount of service performed by volunteers (overall or in a particular area) in terms understood by human resource professionals and board members. Several Volgistics reports (Service details, Service summary) can translate the number of hours served by volunteers into an FTE value for this purpose.

Volgistics uses the FTE measurement to describe the number of full-time workers that it would take to serve the same number of hours as an individual volunteer or group of volunteers (not the number of volunteers who individually serve 'full-time').

For example, suppose ten volunteers each serve four hours per week providing visitor information at an organization's information desk. Collectively these ten volunteers work the same amount of time as one FTE (ten times four hours each equals 40 hours per week, or one FTE). Or, suppose 200 volunteers each serve six hours during a week-long festival. Collectively these festival volunteers work the same amount of time as thirty FTEs (200 times six equals 1, 200 hours per week, divided by 40 hours equals 30 FTEs).

How Volgistics calculates FTEs

By default, Volgistics calculates FTEs at the rate of 40 hours per week, although you can tailor this rate to your organization (see below). So, every 40 hours served by volunteers in a one week period equals one FTE.

Most Volgistics reports calculate volunteer hours monthly (or quarterly, or annually), rather than weekly. When you calculate FTE for monthly periods rather than weekly periods you must convert the weekly rate into a monthly rate. To make this conversion Volgistics multiplies the weekly rate by 52 (the number of weeks in a year), and then divides the result by 12 (the number of months in a year). Using the default rate of 40 hours per week, the monthly FTE would be 173.3 hours per month. Here's the math:

40 hours per week x 52 weeks = 2,080 hours per year

2,080 hours per year ÷ 12 months = 173.3 hours per month

So, if your service report is for a period of one month, every 173.3 hours served by volunteers equals one FTE. If volunteers collectively serve 6,280 hours in one month they worked the same amount of time as 36.24 full-time workers that month (6,280 divided by 173.3 equals 36.24, when rounded). If a service report is for a period of one year, every 2,080 hours served collectively by volunteers in a year equals one FTE. (173.3 hours per month, times 12 months equals 2,080 hours per year). If volunteers collectively serve 66,560 hours during a one year period they worked the same amount of time as 32 FTEs during that year (66,560 divided by 2,080 equals 32).

Setting your FTE rate

Volgistics defaults to an FTE rate of 40 hours per week. You can change this if your organization uses a different rate (such as 38.5 hours per week). To change the rate used to calculate FTE:

  1. Click Setup on the menu.

  2. Expand Service Tracking, and then choose Ground Rules.

  3. Scroll down to the Full time equivalent section and enter the weekly rate you want to use.

  4. Click the Save button.