Volunteer ROI: Demonstrating the Clear Value of Volunteer Services
There are many reasons to track your volunteer ROI (Return on Investment). Your effectiveness and ability to stretch program resources matters to many different stakeholders – executive leadership, members, volunteers, funders, etc. Sharing your ROI can often generate more robust support for you and your program.
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Support from leadership not only makes your life easier, it makes it better for volunteers. So much so, that research has shown that it has a significant impact on whether they stay or leave.
There is no question – volunteers improve organizational capacity. But, how do you know how your investment in volunteers is paying off?
A Simple Formula for Volunteer ROI
By using this simple formula to calculate your Return on Investment:
ROI = (volunteer value – program cost) / program cost
Don’t like math? Use our VolunteerPro automated calculator!
For the Future: Get Some Systems in Place
In order to properly track your ROI, you’ll need systems to track the inputs that will make up your calculation. You may want to consider investing in volunteer management software that can do this work for you – think about purchasing software that volunteers can access and update on their own, versus you having to do it.
Also, accept that you can’t track everything, and let it go. Here are a few things that are a challenge to calculate:
- Increased Organizational Capacity
- Enhanced Services or Member Benefits
- Better Program Performance
- Heightened Community Awareness
- Increased Consumer Protections
- Positive Changes in Individual Lives
- Volunteers, clients, staff