One of the challenges in volunteer administration is determining the best method of measurement. Often, leaders of volunteers rely on statistical comparisons to measure success, but the problem with statistical comparisons is that numbers can be used against our better interests and only provide one part of the picture. Numerous articles and discussions in our field have articulated the importance of evaluation from an outcomes-based perspective to address the question of “what kind of impact have our volunteer efforts made and are we being effective?” Yet, over the years, we have still lacked a standardized tool for assessing the impact of volunteers in supporting an organization’s mission and goals.
This interest in more effectively measuring impact from a strategic perspective and an exploration of different approaches used in both
the private, nonprofit and volunteer sectors led our group to the development of the Volunteer Resources Balanced Scorecard (VRBSc).
In our work and research developing the VRBSc, we identified four key goals that we believe are vital to any volunteer involvement strategy:
To ensure that the contribution of volunteers is aligned with
the goals of the organization
To identify and provide a broader and more meaningful approach to measuring outcomes
To establish more relevant reporting measures
To promote greater understanding and support within our organizations for professional management of volunteers
based on recognized standards