New Calculator Measures Volunteer Impact
5 November 2015 at 11:15 am
Peak bodies, Volunteering Tasmania and WA, have launched an online tool to accurately understand the economic impact of Not for Profit volunteer programs, to coincide with International Volunteer Managers Day.
The Value of Volunteering calculator was developed by the Institute of Project Management (IPM) as a practical tool to support the findings released in the State of Volunteering Report 2014: The Economic, Social and Cultural Value of Volunteering.
The report provided an economic assessment of the value of the volunteering industry in Tasmania, which Volunteering Tasmania said it would now share with the national volunteering community.
CEO of Volunteering Tasmania, Adrienne Picone, said the calculator was an effective tool for organisations to accurately understand the economic impact of their volunteer program.
“The calculator uses the same cost benefit analysis used in the State of Volunteering report. This method offers a more accurate representation of the value of volunteering compared to typical cost replacement methods,” Picone said.
“Cost replacement figures are often used to value volunteer programs in current reporting and grant application processes, but the truth is they only give part of the overall picture.
“A cost replacement analysis simply takes an arbitrary wage and multiplies it by volunteer hours donated. This in no way reflects the economic impact of a volunteer program. There is a flow on economic, social and cultural impact that cost-benefit methods accurately capture.
“We know that for every dollar invested in volunteering, the community receives over $4 in benefits. We hope that managers of volunteers will adopt this calculator as a ‘go-to’ tool to measure the value of their volunteer program for grant writing or strategic planning documents.
“We hope that the calculator will also help Volunteer Involving Organisations and other stakeholders consider investment in their managers and coordinators of volunteers. Without these people, our volunteers couldn’t receive the support they need.”
The Volunteering peak bodies said the results from the calculator could be shared on social media, and the peak body encouraged managers of volunteers to share theirs using the buttons at the bottom of the calculator.