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Measuring Impact and Outcomes at Volunteer Centers: A Study of the HandsOn Network

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This quarter’s Research to Practice contributes to the theme of Volunteer Centers. Reviewer Laurie Mook looks at a study of the direct and secondary impacts of the HandsOn Network and its affiliated member organizations: Measuring the Impact of HandsOn Network: An Evaluation of Direct and Secondary Impact from the Stakeholder Perspective.

Based in Atlanta, GA, HandsOn calls itself “the largest network of local volunteer centers around the world,” with 250 affiliates. Whereas previous studies relied on self-reports from affiliates to provide evidence of their impact, the researchers in this study used surveys and interviews to collect data directly from affiliates, community partners, and volunteers. Based on the perspectives of these groups, the researchers developed a conceptual framework that other Volunteer Centers and other intermediaries can use to measure the impact of their work.