Volunteers form the backbone of most events, especially at nonprofit organizations. In the US alone, about one in three people volunteer annually, which amounts to increased service hours over time. In fact, research shows that in the past 15 years, Americans have volunteered for over 120 billion hours, worth about $28 trillion.
It’s essential to accurately measure the impact of both one-time and recurring volunteers. Nonprofits especially must measure impact, as it helps direct resources towards improvement areas to achieve maximum results. In this post, we lay out several guidelines that help measure volunteers’ quantitative and qualitative impact.
1) Quantitative Measurement of Volunteer Impact
Numbers always speak volumes. When measuring volunteer impact, keeping track of volunteer numbers is not a sufficient indication of the program’s success. Here are some additional quantitative analyses nonprofits can do to assess volunteer impact.
- Wage and Hour Replacement– This is the number of hours of paid work and, therefore, the amount of wages replaced with volunteer work. For nonprofits, a higher wage and hour replacement number is a good indication of impact, as it frees up money to be allocated toward other immediate needs.
- Economic Impact– This is indicated by easy-to-track numbers, such as the earnings from an auction run by volunteers. Another parameter to measure for this purpose is the sales conversion after any volunteer-led event.
- Volunteer Retention Metrics– A high retention percentage means the cost of recruiting and training new people remains low.
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2) Qualitative Measurement of Volunteer Impact
This can be calculated from factors like the following:
- Customer Satisfaction Surveys or CSAT– These help you understand how effective 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 understands the impact of the work done than the volunteers themselves? Conduct a feedback session to learn about the volunteers’ experiences in their roles and gather valuable insight into the impact they created.
- Organization’s Reach- If there is an increase in the number of people, stakeholders, and donors because of the volunteers, then it indicates a significant impact. Additionally, if these interactions ultimately yield positive results, like more donations or sales, then nothing can compare.
Check out – How to Convert Your Volunteers to Donors
3) Data Collection for Measuring Impact
Effective data collection is central to understanding the volunteer impact for nonprofit organizations. The appropriate avenues can include 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 in. These metrics can be tracked and reported through Bloomerang’s volunteer management solution.
Effectively measuring volunteer impact helps nonprofits understand what went well and what improvements to make for future events. Following the guidelines mentioned above can help you gather and streamline measured results.