VOLUNTEER IMPACT ASSESSMENT
Measuring the social impact of volunteering activities is vital. Volunteer involving organisations ability to make a ‘value-added’, ‘positive impact’ for a community, on a shoestring, is how the Community Sector sets itself apart. This need to evidence worth is increasingly important as year on year public expenditure cuts are forecast.
Many volunteer-involving organisations or volunteer-led groups may not have the resources or time to carry out evaluation work which can detract from service delivery or front line work. However, the Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit (VIAT) is an inexpensive, tried and tested way for organisations of all sizes to evidence impact.
This toolkit enables organisations to assess the impact of volunteering on key stakeholders – the volunteers, the organisation, the beneficiaries, and the broader community. Organisations will be able to use it to assess a wide range of impacts, from the skills development of volunteers to the economic value of involving volunteers.
The toolkit provides information on the:
- Range of impacts that can be measured using the toolkit;
- The range of stakeholders that can be included;
- The range of adaptable research tools available;
- Guidelines on research design, data collection and analysis;
- and Provides information on how to access further support for research design, data collection and analysis.
The information gathered from the toolkit can:
- Give your application the edge when looking for funding;
- Is useful for informing policy and practice development;
- Is used to motivate existing volunteers and staff;
- Attract new volunteers and can showcase the benefits of volunteering to the public.
Volunteer Ireland can:
- Help you measure your impact using the VIAT, we can administer all the surveys and facilitate the focus groups for your stakeholders providing independence and objectivity, writing up a report that gives you clear facts and figures, quotes and case studies, and robust recommendations for action.
- Train you to use the VIAT to carry out the assessment yourself. A copy of the toolkit is included in the cost of the training.
The toolkit and associated training course has been successfully used by a number of organisations in Ireland, including The Solas Project, Third Age Ireland, STEPS Engineers Ireland, Depaul Ireland, Event Volunteers, The Irish Wheelchair Association, Ladies Gaelic Football Association and the Health Service Executive. Volunteer Ireland can carry out the Volunteer Impact Assessment on behalf of your organisation, or you can complete the assessment yourself. You can find the steps involved for undertaking a volunteering impact assessment in this visual graph.
The Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit is available for sale from Volunteer Ireland, however, we only sell the toolkit along with the full-day training in order to ensure that you get the maximum benefit of the using the toolkit. You can find details of the next training in our training calendar.
A full-day training course is also available as part of Volunteer Ireland’s Volunteer Management Training Calendar. Please check our Training and Consultancy pages for information for forthcoming courses. If you wish to have this course delivered directly to your organisation please contact Stuart Garland, Training and Programmes Manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Volunteer Investment to Value Audit (VIVA)
The VIVA is one specific tool within the toolkit which can be used to measure the economic impact of volunteering. It uses a simple equation to calculate the difference between the monetary investment into a volunteering programme and the value of the work carried out by volunteers. A simple spreadsheet has been developed which will help people to calculate a VIVA ratio based on them entering some figures i.e. the final ratio figure will show what return on investment an organisation gains from involving volunteers.
You can get a free copy by contacting Stuart Garland, Training and Programmes Manager, email email@example.com