BOOKS AND RESOURCES
Evaluating the value of volunteers in any type of organization can be critical to saving the job of the director of volunteer services. And the techniques used to evaluate a program to prove its value must be done with rigorous assessment standards. How to do this when one is not an expert at planning evaluations, setting evaluation design criteria, creating credible survey questions or interpreting data? It is the rare manager of volunteers who starts his/her job sufficiently experienced to gather such information.
Measuring the Difference Volunteers Make covers the basics and more in a scant 30 pages. There are even forms to help design an evaluation.
Sections in the guide cover outcomes of evaluations, who does the evaluation, the role of the manager of volunteers, the best techniques to use for evaluation, evaluating the findings, making comparisons, and reporting results. There is a section on applying a monetary value to volunteer service, always a challenging issue.
The emphasis of this guide is on “outcome based measures.” This is a standard used by United Way for its programs and that of its member agencies. It is by no means the only measure, but examples of it pepper the text. The sample impact analysis form is a good starting place for any organization.
Make a spot for this PDF guidebook on your computer. Organize an evaluation team and provide them with a copy. Begin the process of evaluating the impact volunteers are having on your organization and its clients/members/patrons and mission.
The guidebook was published by Minnesota Department of Human Services through funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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