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Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work

Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work

For nearly two decades,the Johns Hopkins University Center for Civil Society Studies research group has conducted comparative research on volunteer work and the nonprofit sector. This year, in conjunction with the International Labour Organization (ILO) and in collaboration with the United Nations Volunteers and an international Technical Experts Group, the Johns Hopkins Center has published a Manual on the Measurement of Volunteer Work. The Manual was developed “to help statistical agencies around the world track the amount, type and value of volunteer work in their countries” in a systematic, regular and comparative fashion.  Although national statistical agencies are its primary focus, the influential document also provides food for thought for measuring volunteer work at the organization level. This quarter’s Research to Practice presents highlights from this work.

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Fri, 07/29/2011
We continue to be distressed with putting an economic value on volunteering. Community engagement is about so much more than that! We give in to the private sector measurement when we convert to dollars... At Vantage Point, our most significant measurement is the number of different roles we have (we count the number on an annual basis) to engage external talent. It is the number of high-level skills we can bring into our organization to more effectively deliver our mission. It is all about achieving excellence by engaging people - who are "experts" in their fields - in many different ways in our organization.

Mon, 08/01/2011

Thanks for your response, Colleen!  For the record, Laurie was the best person to review this Manual because she totally agrees with you!  She is co-author (with 2 other Canadians) of What Counts: Social Accounting for Nonprofits and Cooperatives,  a book for anyone seeking to analyze social capital and understand why traditional business accounting that focuses on money in and out is just not sufficient to value the nonprofit sector. What Counts is especially unique in adding the contribution of volunteers to the measurement of nonprofit resources -- and does so in ways you'd appreciate.