Your organization’s volunteer program is an important driver toward mission. Here are 4 ways to measure volunteer program ROI and ensure you are getting the highest amount of value.

Chances are, volunteers play an important role in your organization. Leveraging volunteerism can, and probably is, helping your nonprofit fill critical roles and take steps towards obtaining its mission. If this sounds like your organization, you are not alone. According to a 2018 Volunteering in America report, 77.34 million adults volunteered through an organization in 2018. As your nonprofit grows, so does the need to optimize your volunteer program and effectively measure ROI. Because volunteers provide their time for free, your organization may think measuring ROI is impossible, but, that is not the case. Here are 4 ways to measure volunteer program ROI and ensure you are getting the highest amount of value from your volunteer-based initiatives.

Measure Volunteer Value

One of the easiest ways to measure volunteer program ROI is by calculating the total volunteer value. Each hour provided by a volunteer saves your organization money. As of 2020, the estimated value of a volunteer hour is 27.20 according to an Independent Sector report. The cost-savings that volunteers provide can really add up as your program grows. For example, 25,000 volunteer hours per year would equate to $680,000 in volunteer value, based on 2020 estimates. After uncovering your estimated volunteer value, subtract it from your program costs to estimate ROI. Even if you consider these estimates high, it is key to estimate the dollar value of each volunteer hour served. In doing so, your organization will better understand the intrinsic value of your volunteer workforce and why volunteer retention is so important.

Do you want to drive more value from your volunteer program? Check out how VolunteerHub works.

Measure Community Reach

The ultimate goal of your nonprofit should be to provide support/services to the community. Having a streamlined volunteer program can help expand your organization’s reach. Is your volunteer program helping your nonprofit obtain its mission? Can an increase in community reach be associated with your volunteer program? Optimizing your volunteer program, and the software that supports it, can help your organization fill roles that provide critical support to the community.

You can easily measure by comparing inputs and outputs. For example, by increasing its volunteer staff by 25% a foodbank was able to provide 2000 additional meals, per month, within the community.

Need to review your volunteer program? Check out these 7 tips for increasing impact.

Measure the Conversion Rate Between Volunteers and Donors

Another important metric to consider, when measuring volunteer program ROI, is the relationship between volunteers and donors. Studies have shown that there is a connection between the two giving groups. In fact, a Time and Money report, published by Fidelity Charitable, claims that 87% of volunteers say there is an overlap between their volunteer and financial support. The same report found that 50% of donors give more because they volunteer. The performance of your organization’s volunteer program can impact the performance of your fundraising initiatives, and vice-versa.

One of the easiest ways to uncover the relationship between volunteers and donors is by integrating your volunteer management solution and CRM. Volunteer management software, like VolunteerHub, have the capability to integrate with leading donor management systems, such as Blackbaud and Salesforce.

Leveraging this data can help your nonprofit better understand how your volunteer program impacts other areas of the organization and drives value.

Learn more about VolunteerHub’s True CRM Integration

Measure How Volunteerism Impacts Staff

Saving your staff time is one of the biggest benefits of volunteerism. Volunteers can help take the pressure off of your staff and provide invaluable skill-sets that push your organization forward. How much time is your volunteer program saving staff? What would your organization look like without volunteers? These are important questions to consider when measuring the ROI of your program.


Oftentimes, it is easy to overlook the ROI of a volunteer program. If your organization has not considered the value, today is the day to do so. There are many ways to determine program ROI including calculating volunteer value, determining how volunteerism impacts mission attainment, understanding how volunteerism saves your staff time, and measuring the conversion rate from volunteers to donors.

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