Friday, June 29, 2012

Resources to calculate the ROI of volunteer engagement

For the past couple of years I have been working on a new model to measure the return on investment of engaging volunteers in a n organization. Because the emphasis of my model is to treat the expenditure of volunteer hours the same as the expenditure of cash I refer to it as the Scarce Resources Model. In economic terms, scarce does not mean hard to find but rather that there is a finite pool. Because there is a finite pool choices have to be made how each dollar is spent and choices have to be mad how each volunteer hour is "spent".  Better choices lead to a higher ROI which typically indicates a better allocation of resources toward an organizations mission.

The programming team at Volunteer2 has put together a few free online calculators to help organizations measure their ROI. You can find them at

The model is young and certainly not perfect, but according to one participant of my conference workshops on the subject, "leaps and bounds better than what we have today". Not everyone is on board but the vast majority of conference participants agree.

I'll be writing more on the topic over the next year and I welcome your feedback.

Up-coming venues that include this presentation include:
July 17 Portland OR USA - Volunteer Portland (Session Sold Out)
August 9 - Chicago, IL USA - ICOVA Conference
September 11 - Ottawa ON Canada - Volunteer Ottawa 
September 18 - Columbus OH USA - 2012 Annual Ohio Conference on Service and Volunteerism
September 27 - Vancouver, BC Canada - Volunteer BC Conference
October 24 - Truro NS Canada - Recreation Nova Scotia Conference
October 26 - Topeka KS USA - 2012 Kansas Conference on Service & Volunteerism

Email me at with your location if you would like me to let you know when I'll be presenting at a venue near you, or if you would like me to try schedule a workshop in your community. (The workshop is free and if I'm traveling close enough, there's no travel costs to pay.)

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