How to Measure the Impact of Skilled Volunteering

Measuring the impact of skilled volunteering on first look, seems to be a quagmire of uncertainties. How do you measure the impact of a IT project on a Sports Charity? Here we explain two approaches you can use to understand the impact and put a monetary value to it.

Avoided cost

Volunteers provide services for free that the charity or social enterprise would otherwise have to pay for.  You can monetize the total value of these services by multiplying the total number of reported service hours for each volunteer activity by an hourly rate for each activity type: you can use the salary calculator tool to assess (e.g., Computer networking support is £25.90/hr., etc.).

Capacity Building 

Volunteers can help improve charity capacity in three ways:

  • Increasing efficiency (i.e., enabling the nonprofit to use fewer resources — in terms of time or money — in performing its operations or delivering services) an example might be automating payroll so the organisation doesn’t need so many staff hours to process.
  • Increasing effectiveness (i.e., improving the success rate of the nonprofit’s services) this could be a strategy exercise, mapping gaps in service delivery.
  • Increasing reach (i.e., enabling the nonprofit to serve a greater number of beneficiaries) this could be in marketing to service users and getting more people to join their courses or events.

You can measure these impacts in terms of resulting resource savings or increase in successful outcomes, and also monitor how frequently these effects occur among your volunteer projects.  It is vital to benchmark the charity or social enterprise before the interaction. You should ask the charity or social enterprise a series of questions to benchmark their capacity and ask the same questions 6 months after you end the project. Use Monkey survey to automate questionnaires so you don’t forget.

Tailor questions to the specific exercise and which capacity building effect you are trying to deliver.

 

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