#valuingvolunteering     #measuringimpact

Last week, the Volonteurope working group on measuring the impact of volunteering had its first meeting in London.

A lot of work has been done in recent years to develop methods for measuring the economic value of volunteering. Volonteurope wants to complement this work by looking at ways to measure the impact of volunteering in terms of social value.

Volonteurope sees impact measurement as being key not only to giving greater visibility to the valuable work of the third sector in Europe but to improving the quality of that work. Organisations that successfully measure the impact of their work can become ‘learning organisations’, building upon what works well and revising what is not working so well.

Impact measurement is complex, and the degree of complexity only increases when we start thinking about measuring impact across borders. Volonteurope’s working group aims to facilitate this process by developing standards for measuring the impact of volunteering and building them into a toolkit that could be used across Europe.

The working group involves experts and practitioners from CSV (UK), the Institute for Social Research (Norway), the Tulip Foundation (Bulgaria), the European Volunteer Centre (CEV) (Belgium), Humanitas (Netherlands), Solidar (Belgium), Samaritan International (Germany), Ceméa (France), Initiative for Development and Cooperation (Serbia), Leeds Beckett University (UK), Glasgow Life (UK), NHS England (UK), and CESAVO (Italy).

During its first meeting, the working group discussed the objectives, timeline and final product of the work. Its first step will be to conduct a literature review of existing approaches to impact measurement in Europe and identify gaps.

The next meeting of the working group will be taking place in Romania in July.

This work will conclude in Spring 2018 with the launch of a toolkit and, potentially, an online platform on impact measurement.