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It's proven: non-profits thrive when they measure volunteer impact

I’ve recently been digging into a report by Softwareadvice and it has me totally hooked. The report is the product of a survey they conducted with 2,735 non-profit professionals around the globe, and it does a pretty awesome job of showing us how we non-profit leaders are fairing when it comes to measuring volunteer impact. The overall verdict? We’re not doing terribly well - despite the fact that volunteer impact stats are one of the most important pieces of info for donors, prospective volunteers, and community partners.

So, if it’s so important, why aren’t we doing it? Well - I think this graphic from the report illustrates that pretty nicely:



So wait...apart from that 6% claiming that it’s not important (who are those folks??), a massive percentage of respondents cited some kind of ‘lack’ as the reason they weren’t measuring volunteer impact…lack of time, knowledge, resources, tools, you name it…but the truth is, none of these reasons are strong enough reasons to not measure volunteer impact. We have to find a way to overcome our perceived lack. Here’s why - the report also found that, among the non-profits measuring impact:

  • 17% Used the data to increase funding (yep - it turns out that donors do want to know about your impact)
  • 18% Used impact data to improve outcomes (this makes sense - you can’t improve an outcome you’re not measuring!!)
  • Heck - in 6% of the cases, non-profits even reported that they used volunteer data to convince leadership they needed to hire a full-time volunteer coordinator!!

What's my point?? My point is that no amount of ‘lack’ should stop you from measuring volunteer impact. You think you lack resources and tools? We’re here - offering you all kinds of tools to do this. Think you lack the knowledge and skills? Well, that’s why we're working every day to build this blog & podcast into a community of support for you! And time?? Yes, I know… we all lack this - but thanks to technology, there are now so many time saving tools around measurement that we can overcome this!

Bottom line - measuring your volunteer impact is simply something you have to find a way to do. And before you write off Softwareadvice’s report as only pertaining to large non-profits, consider this: over half of the 2,735 nonprofits in the survey we’re small non-profits - engaging fewer than 100 volunteers each year. So if you are not measuring volunteer impact now - drop a comment in the box below and tell me how we can help you do this. If you are, please comment by sharing: how has volunteer impact measurement affected your movement?  


About the author:

Josh is the founder of Social Change Nation, whose mission and passion is to provide cause based leaders with the best possible resources for growing their movements. He writes on all things volunteer, corporate social responsibility, and other purposeful musings. In his spare time, he loves travelling, reading, hanging with friends, and is a wannabe triathlete.

It's proven: non-profits thrive when they measure volunteer impact by

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