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Volunteer Program Evaluation and Assessment

Books on this topic

Articles/excerpts on this subject

Free electronic books on this subject

The Impact of Investing in Volunteers
by Ben Cairns and Romayne Hutchison from the Centre for Voluntary Action Research at Aston Business School (UK, 2006 - 40 pg. PDF)

Measuring the Difference Volunteers Make: A Guide to Outcome Evaluation for Volunteer Program Managers
by Melissa Eystad, Editor
With permission of the Minnesota Department of Human Services, this extremely useful 1997 guidebook (now out of print) is available free of charge in electronic form. (Thanks to Melissa Eystad of World Spirit Consulting for sharing this copy.)

Voluntary Sector Evaluation Research Project (Canada)
Canadian initiative to improve the capacity of voluntary organizations to assess their performance and communicate their effectiveness to their funders, stakeholders and the public.

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Evaluation Handbook
Excellent introduction to the why and how of program evaluation, written to guide organizations in self-evaluation without an outside consultant.  Includes the importance of volunteers as an information source and as users of the evaluation results. (116-page PDF)

W.K. Kellogg Foundation Logic Model Development Guide
A companion publication to the Evaluation Handbook above, this guide introduces a "program logic model" – a picture of how your organization does its work, to facilitate thinking, planning, and communications about program objectives and actual accomplishments. The 72-page PDF integrates volunteers into the variables studied.

Websites with information on this subject

Economic Impact Of Volunteers Calculator
Created by the Points of Light Foundation estimates the appropriate wage rate for volunteer time based on what the person does and the value of specific tasks according to market conditions as reported by the US Department of Labor.  A starting point for organizations to determine the value of the time their volunteers give doing a wide variety of volunteer jobs.

The Economic Value of Volunteering
The European Volunteer Centre's compilation of efforts in Europe to measure the economic impact of volunteering.

Innovation Network OnlineTools
Innovation Network’s Point K Learning Center offers collaborative tools and resources for assessment, planning, and program improvement.

Investing in Volunteers Project (UK)
Investing in Volunteers is the UK quality standard for all organizations which involve volunteers in their work. The Standard enables organizations to comprehensively review their volunteer management, and also publicly demonstrates their commitment to volunteering. Evaluation Resources

These resources are written with a mentoring program in mind, but can give useful ideas for other settings.

Online Evaluation Resource Library
This site, although not specific to the field of volunteerism, offers resources for professionals seeking to design, conduct, document, or review project evaluations

VIVA - The Volunteer Investment and Value Audit
Description of VIVA, a measurement tool that assesses the 'outputs' of volunteer program (the value of volunteers' time) in relation to the 'inputs' (the resources used to support the volunteers), from the Institute for Volunteering Research in the UK.

A variety of articles on how to conduct online surveys and gain more participation from respondents.

Relevant Hot Topic essays



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