Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Return on Investment: The value of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by CDR David Chareonsuphiphat, Director, Northern Region Auxiliary
U.S. Coast Guard District Eleven Prevention Division.

The Coast Guard Auxiliary is made up of more than 30,000 volunteers who donate their time and effort as well as their boats, aircraft, and radio facilities to the U.S. Coast Guard. Over 4,000 vessels, 240 aircraft, and 2,600 radio facilities have been accepted for use annually to aid the Coast Guard in carrying out its many missions.

In an average year the Coast Guard Auxiliary:
  • provides 4,500,000 volunteer hours to the U.S. Coast Guard,
  • saves 800 lives,
  • assists 13,000 people in distress,
  • protects $92,000,000 in property,
  • conducts 132,000 vessel safety checks,
  • conducts 2,000 commercial fishing examinations,
  • conducts over 86,000 marine dealer visits,
  • provides 4,000 vessel facilities to the Coast Guard,
  • provides 240 air facilities to the Coast Guard,
  • conducts 16,600 public education sessions and teaches 2,800 boating safety courses.
The Coast Guard injects approximately $17 to $18 million annually into the Coast Guard Auxiliary, which includes the fuel and maintenance allowance for auxiliary facilities, Coast Guard schools for auxiliary training and education, active duty and civilian staff to manage auxiliary program offices, personal protective safety equipment, and damage and disability claims associated with surface and aviation patrols.

What Do Auxiliarists Do? Auxiliarists perform a wide range of duties, including recreational boating safety, vessel safety, commercial fishing vessel examinations, private aids to navigation verifications, program dealer visits, and marine safety education.

So What Does the Coast Guard Get? The value of volunteer time is calculated annually by an organization called the “Independent Sector,” which is a leadership forum of charities, foundations, and corporate giving programs. The 2009 value of a volunteer hour: $20.25.

In 2009, the auxiliary provided more than 4.5 million volunteer hours to the Coast Guard, which comes to approximately $91 million dollars in labor, using that independent estimate. Put another way, the Coast Guard Auxiliary’s labor hours in 2009 are equivalent to 2,186 full-time Coast Guard employees.

Continuing the math and factoring in the value of property saved, the return on investment ranges from 970 percent to 1,200 percent for the years 2006 to 2009, or up to $12 for every dollar spent.

Full article is available at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/fall2010.

Subscribe online at http://www.uscg.mil/proceedings/subscribe.asp.