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Dec 19, 2019 1:15:00 PM by InitLive

A Guide To Measuring Volunteer Impact For Nonprofits

Volunteer Management, Non-Profit Events

Copy of Blog Images Vol. 12 (85)Volunteers form the backbone of most events, especially when it comes to non-profit organizations. In the US alone, about one in three people do volunteering service annually. This amounts to a high number of hours of service with time. In fact, research shows that in the past 15 years, Americans have volunteered for over 120 billion hours worth about $28 trillion.

Needless to say, it is essential to measure the impact of these volunteers as accurately as possible. It is especially crucial for non-profits because it helps them to direct their resources towards the right problems to achieve the maximum results. In this post, we lay out several guidelines that help in measuring both the quantitative and qualitative impact of volunteers.

1. Quantitative Measurement of Volunteer Impact

Numbers always speak volumes. When it comes to measuring volunteer impact, keeping a track of volunteer numbers is not a sufficient indication of the success of the program. Here are some other quantitative analyses that can be done by non-profits to assess the volunteer impact.

  • Wage and Hour Replacement- This is the number of hours of paid work and hence the amount of wages that have been replaced with volunteer work. For non-profits, a higher wage and hour replacement number is a good indication as it frees up the money to be used for other immediate needs.
  • Economic Impact- This is indicated by easy-to-track numbers like the earnings from an auction manned by volunteers. Another parameter that can be measured for this purpose is the sales conversion post any event that was managed by volunteers.
  • Volunteer Retention Metrics- Having a high retention percentage means that the cost of recruiting and training new people remains low.

Are you planning a nonprofit event? Then make sure to read-  Ultimate Non-Profit Event Planning Checklist

2. Qualitative Measurement of Volunteer Impact

This can be gauged from factors like the following:

  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys or CSAT- These are very effective to help you understand how good your volunteers were in a customer-facing role. CSAT surveys can also be conducted for stakeholders to give their input about volunteer impact.
  • Volunteer Experience Feedback- Who better to understand the impact of the work done other than the volunteers themselves? Conduct a feedback session to know about the experiences of the volunteers in their roles and garner valuable insight into the impact they created.
  • Organization's Reach- If there is an increase in the number of people, stakeholders, and donors by the volunteers, then it indicates a significant positive impact. Additionally, if these interactions ultimately result in positive outcomes (like more donations or sales), then there is nothing like it.

Check out - How to Convert Your Volunteers to Donors

 3. Data Collection for Measuring Impact

Effective data collection is paramount to understanding the volunteer impact for non-profit organizations. The appropriate modes can be the following-

  • Online surveys sent through emails after the event.
  • Pen and paper feedback during the event.
  • Through SMS or other messaging services, especially for volunteer feedback. 
  • Total hours worked by individual volunteers or the group they are enrolled with. These metrics can be tracked and reported through InitLives volunteer management solution. 

Effectively measuring volunteer impact helps non-profit organizations to understand what went right and what can be improved for future events. Following the above-mentioned guidelines can help you achieve that with relative ease.