How to measure the success & impact of your corporate volunteering program

Stéphanie Grawehr March 29, 2021

In this post:

Why measure corporate volunteering efforts? 13 Quantitative metrics to report 5 Qualitative metrics to report Wrapping up reporting on corporate volunteering

You’ve got your corporate volunteering program (CVP) in motion, your volunteer policy mapped out, and your employees are eagerly dipping their toes into an array of virtual and field volunteering opportunities that you’ve aligned with the company mission. Life is good. But wait, how will you track the success of your program?

This article is your guide on how to track corporate volunteering efforts, report on your success, and optimise your volunteer program to be the best it can be for all stakeholders. Ready?

Why measure corporate volunteering efforts?

Corporate volunteering programs are big. While leadership buy-in to launch is key, keeping track of your efforts and showing progress is important so you can keep the momentum. Your company might also have regular CSR or ESG reporting, like the B4SI/LBG or GRI, which your corporate volunteering metrics can contribute to. 

Corporate volunteer reporting can help to do a few things:

  • Continue to communicate program benefits for all stakeholders 
  • Aid HR with employee recognition and reviews 
  • Optimise future CVP efforts and help to benchmark goals
  • Recognise volunteer’s time and effort 
  • Contribute toward larger business growth reports 
  • Win financial support from leadership for future initiatives

That being said, tracking is tricky. For example, when you’re partnering with nonprofit organisations, it depends on whether they have the resources and capabilities to measure the impact. That’s why inputs like volunteering time or donations made can be a good first start to show your commitment and to start connecting the dots toward impact.

We’re about to dive into 19 quantitative and qualitative metrics you can use to track your program’s success. Constantly think of how you can align these reporting metrics alongside your program’s initial goals and prove that you’re on to a winning recipe. 

Tie your efforts back to the company purpose, greater CSR reporting efforts, and highlight the benefits your corporate volunteering program has brought everyone. You have the power to positively influence

  • Employees
  • Stakeholders
  • Communities
  • Brand
  • Customers

and so much more. But, if you’re not reporting on your efforts, then no one knows to what effect you’re successful. Let’s dive in. 

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13 Quantitative metrics to report

First up, we’re looking at quantitative metrics to report. These are data-driven and apply numbers to your efforts. Having this data is a great way to present the change your program has created—objectively.

1. Volunteer participation rates

This is a helpful opening statistic to any corporate volunteering success presentation. How many employees are participating in your initiatives?

You can keep track of this figure on spreadsheets or some corporate volunteering platforms can help you automate this process to save you time. You can measure this by using the following equation: 

Volunteering participation rate = number of volunteers / number of employees.

If you have a dedicated platform for employee volunteering, especially if you’re thinking about engagement outside of traditional volunteering such as positive actions around sustainability, you can also measure the participation rate to show how engaged employees are with the in-platform participation rate:

In-platform participation rate = employees who make a contribution on platform / total number of accounts on platform.

These percentages will give you an idea of how active your entire workforce is with your CVP initiative and is an indicator of how relevant and easy it is for them to participate.

This metric will change depending on how often you need someone to engage in determining them as an engaged user. For example, if employees receive one day per year of volunteer time off, their engagement may only be required once a year. 

Consider what engagement means at your organisation, and it can help you contextualise this metric.

2. Employee engagement per activity type

Employee engagement dives deeper into those active contributors in your corporate volunteering platform. It determines how engaged employees are with your initiative/s.

How many contributions did you see within the time measured? We’re not looking at the value amount of those contributions, simply how many single contributions. Contributions can be financial or time dedicated to a project or actions taken through positive actions if this is part of your program.

Concretely, we’re talking about number of employees who are donors vs. volunteers, for example. It can help you see which activities are driving more engagement.

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3. Number of activities created

Suppose you’re empowering employees to start their own positive impact volunteering initiative. In that case, this metric can be a fantastic insight into how engaged your employees are and help identify your volunteer champions.

4. Number of hours volunteered per employee

This is a statistic to showcase on your CSR company page. You can either average this out across your entire workforce or just look at those employees that became volunteers. This figure is especially important if you have a volunteer matching policy, such as Dollars for Doers.

5. Number of total hours volunteered

Again, this metric is fantastic to showcase your hard work and the work of your employees. Put this front and centre on your end of year CSR reports. This number reflects your entire business. 

It’s also a good benchmark to help push volunteers to contribute more in the coming years. Let people compete against their own personal bests.

6. Estimated dollar value of hours volunteered

This is largely dependent on the time of volunteering your employees are engaging with. Research shows that hands-on volunteering is valued at $25 per hour for a nonprofit, whereas skills-based volunteering is at $195 per hour. Count up the hours for the different types of volunteering your employees have done, and take this number with a pinch of salt.

7. Money raised 

This metric can serve many functions. It’s great for employees to see a total for their efforts. If you offer donation matching, then you’ll need to get this number down too. Plus, it’s a good number to showcase on your CSR page for customers and external stakeholders.

8. Amount of dollars matched

Employer-employee matching initiatives are becoming more popular by the day. The amount your business matches can be a fantastic number to encourage employees to do even more in the future. 

Whether you’re matching dollars for dollars or following a policy like dollars for doers, collect up the numbers and showcase them to measure the impact of your corporate volunteering program. 

For example, ADM start matching volunteers after 20 hours volunteered for an NPO, and they do 1:1 matching on dollar giving. 

It’s a good idea to set a maximum per employee. Another metric around this data to further encourage volunteer engagement is the amount matched vs the maximum amount your company could have matched.    

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9. Number of goods collected

Not all volunteering donations come in the form of cash. Yet, they’re still valued and need to be accounted for. Goods collected can be anything from items of clothing to food for the homeless. It can even be the number of plastic bottles for the bottle bank! What are your employees collecting to do good?

10. Employee Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Corporate volunteering programs have been shown to improve wellbeing, mental health, soft skills and a sense of purpose in the workplace. All of these factors should be positively affecting your Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)

Be sure to run an eNPS survey before your corporate volunteering program starts and after enough time for it to get going.

11. Customer NPS

To take it to the next level, you could also measure your customer Net Promoter Score; you should begin to see more promoters and fewer detractors. 70% of consumers agree they are more loyal to a company that outwardly showcases a corporate social responsibility policy, and your volunteer program is a large pillar of that. 

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12. Number of press mentions

Whether you have a PR team, or it’s something that your marketing team looks after, a good corporate volunteer program can win press attention. 

Make sure you’re tracking press mentions, as this can be a large contributor towards your brand reach and help build a positive brand affinity.

13. Social media reach, engagement & impressions

Last but not least are your social media metrics. It’s a good idea to introduce a hashtag to your volunteering content if you’re talking about it online. Your social media management tool will be able to track this hashtag, its reach, it’s impressions, and conversations happening around it. 

It’s a fantastic metric to align alongside branding and can help showcase how your volunteering efforts are aiding your brand to consumers and potential applicants.

Quantitative volunteer program reporting can also highlight any areas that may need greater analysis. For example, if you see you’re not getting a great participation rate, you can use qualitative research methods like pulse surveys to dive deeper into why employees are not participating as you hoped. 

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Ready to dive into qualitative metrics? Let’s go!

5 Qualitative metrics to report

Qualitative reporting can help to add context and a human element to your quantitative reporting. They can be stand-alone research pieces or come in to support numbers that need a little more explaining.

1. Employee stories

These are the first and possibly the best-written showcase of your corporate volunteering program. 

It’s so important to gather employee success stories. Ask employees what they enjoyed about their time volunteering, how it made them feel, and what they think they learned. 

These stories will help to entice their peers to the cause, verbalise the employee impact to project stakeholders, and allow employees to better reflect on their experience.

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2. Nonprofit feedback

Nonprofit feedback can also highlight the impact of your volunteering scheme. It can be so valuable for a volunteer to get feedback on their time with a nonprofit and better understand what they’ve helped achieve. 

Nonprofit feedback can also allow you to improve your working relationships and give the organisations even better-matched volunteers in the future.

3. Customer-feedback

This feedback is best collected with your NPS survey. Ask customers if their perception of your brand has changed since witnessing your corporate volunteering program. Ask them if they heard about it at all? If they didn’t hear about it, how can you change tactics in the future to ensure they do?

4. Employee skills utilised or developed

A huge benefit to employee volunteering programs is the soft and hard skills they learn when volunteering. However, measuring these newly-acquired skills can be a tricky task. 

It’s a good idea to ask multiple-choice questions or open-ended questions asking employees what skill sets they feel they’ve learned or improved because of volunteering. 

This metric is good for your business to know and also good for employees to realise so they’re more tempted to volunteer again in the future. 

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5. Case studies

The beautiful moment when all of this data comes together! Look for opportunities to build corporate volunteering case studies. These case studies can combine all of your quantitative and qualitative data and showcase the goal you hit or mission you’re working towards in one concise piece of work.

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Use a mix of visuals, video, copy, and infographics to bring your case study to life. 

Case studies will look very different depending on who they’re for, so think about your reader. Are you building case studies for:

  • Stakeholders
  • Customers
  • Committed volunteers  
  • Future volunteers
  • Nonprofits 

Once you’ve understood your audience, you can build case studies that resonate with the things most important to them.

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Wrapping up reporting on corporate volunteering

Measuring the success of your corporate volunteer program should be something you look forward to. It’s your chance to showcase the program’s success, highlight room for improvement, and get more volunteers on board. 

Showcase the highs and the lows to the right people, continue to optimise your program and give it the spotlight it deserves. You’ll never know you have a successful volunteer program until you start tracking and measuring it. 

Use some of the metrics we’ve discussed in this article and combine them with metrics unique to your business model and volunteer initiatives. Once your report is complete, share it! Get it in the right hands and watch your CVP go from strength to strength. 

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