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Making the Case: Strategic Reporting on Volunteer Engagement

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The ability to measure the processes and outcomes of organizational initiatives is vital to understanding whether an organization has achieved its mandate. But determining the best method to measure the impact of volunteers and how to successfully report on those findings are distinct challenges in volunteer administration.

In this excerpt from a new, yet-to-be-published book called Measuring the Impact of Volunteers: A Balanced and Strategic Approach, authors Christine Burych, Alison Caird, Joanne Fine Schwebel, Michael Fliess, and Heather Hardie review the limits of statistical reporting and suggest ways to measure and communicate more useful data once it is collected. Using examples and outlining strategies, the authors present the basic touchstones of reporting results and note that it’s important to consider your audience, how and who should deliver the reports, and what to do if the news is not good. 

“Utilizing the strategies we have outlined for reporting on the engagement of volunteers can play an important role in articulating the impact and contribution of volunteers,” the authors write. “Reporting in a strategic way helps us to focus our priorities and to communicate to volunteers, key stakeholders, our executives, and boards that we are achieving our mandate to support the mission and vision of our organizations.”