Measuring a volunteer program has multiple benefits:

  • Energizing volunteers by showcasing the results of their efforts.
  • Encouraging leaders and staff at your organization to support your program.
  • Conveying the power of volunteers to policymakers, with real-life examples.

Here’s how you can apply numbers to volunteer hours donated:

  • Find the hourly value of volunteer time in your state.
  • Determine the Return on Investment (ROI):
    ROI = (Volunteer Value – Program Cost) divided by Program Cost.

Next, benchmark your program. You can see how your results compare to the 45 organizations piloting the Strategic Metrics and Results Tracking (SMART) tool. These results show programs using older adult volunteers. Overall, the SMART tool found these volunteers delivered an average ROI of eight to one.

Or see results from nearly 9,000 volunteers in more than 20 organizations, including large corporations such as Boeing and The Coca-Cola Company. The Volunteerism ROI Benchmarking Initiative is the first to seek research-based answers to this question: How much social and business value is your volunteer program actually creating?


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