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Evaluation, Impact & Policy

What difference does volunteering make to your group, club or organisation?  And your members, the people and communities you serve?  How can you prove it, evidence it, and make a better case for resourcing it? If you manage volunteering programmes, or services/activities that rely heavily on volunteer effort, there are increasing pressures to measure its impact, monitor & evaluate the contribution people make, and to clarify links to relevant strategic policy objectives and outcomes.

Glasgow’s Strategic Volunteering Framework

There are as many policy objectives and outcomes as there are types of volunteering.  But for the first time in Glasgow, we also have a Strategic Volunteering Framework approved by the city’s Community Planning Partnership Executive, and a 2014 Commonwealth Games Legacy Framework that needs to help deliver that Strategy. Further info and the key documents are all available here as they become available.

Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit

A practical guide for assessing the difference that volunteering makes

Author: Justin Davis Smith, Angela Ellis, Katherine Gaskin, Steven Howlett, Joanna Stuart

ISBN: 978-0-7199-0015-0  Publisher: NCVO

The Toolkit was developed by the Institute for Volunteering Research to help organisations and groups to measure and assess the impacts of volunteering. It is designed to be simple and adaptable so that organisations can use it in ways that are most useful to them.

Why use the toolkit?

  • Helps to inform the development and improvement of volunteering programmes
  • Provides evidence to attract new funding
  • Demonstrates the impact of volunteering programmes to funders and others
  • Gives information to help feedback to volunteers on the impacts of their contribution
  • Provides evidence to get more support and funding from management in organisations
  • Shows the benefits of volunteering to attract new volunteers
  • Helps improve the services and activities of organisations


How does it work?

The toolkit looks at the impact of volunteering on:

  • Volunteers
  • The Organisation
  • Service users/ beneficiaries
  • Wider Community

It then classifies the major ways these groups can be affected by volunteering. Using this framework it provides tried and tested tools which organisations can use and adapt including surveys, focus group topic guides and volunteer diaries. Also included is step by step guidance on how to undertake a volunteering impact assessment.

How can you buy a copy of the toolkit?

The fully updated third edition of this toolkit is now available for purchase. Volunteer Scotland is the licensed provider of the toolkit in Scotland on behalf of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO). The prices are:

  • NCVO members – £42
  • Non-members – £60

To buy a copy please contact Volunteer Scotland on 01786 479593 or email

NOTE: Second-hand copies occasionally surface through on-line retailers and bookshops.

Also from Volunteer Scotland

Measuring the Impact of Volunteering – a brief training event

This course aims to answer the three questions people ask whenever they start thinking about measuring the impact of volunteering

  • why should I measure the impact of volunteering,
  • how exactly do I do it and
  • what should I do with the information once I am finished?

More details Measuring the Impact of Volunteering

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