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CHAS helping to measure the impact of volunteering in Scotland

The Scottish Volunteering Forum is a collective of national volunteering organisations and intermediaries in Scotland promoting a shared recognition of the significance of volunteering to Scotland. We believe that increasing volunteering rates is critical to improving societal wellbeing in Scotland and by working together, we can raise the profile of volunteering, break down barriers, increase understanding and encourage more people to get involved.

Morven Maclean - CHAS

I'm Morven and I lead the volunteering department here at CHAS. I also chair the Scottish Volunteering Forum's Volunteering Impact Measurement Sub-Group.

We know it's important to evidence our impact in order to increase volunteering participation rates in Scotland and help increase the quality of Scotland's volunteering. We need to understand what's working and what's not, and to act upon any lessons learned. The Volunteering Impact Measurement Sub-Group was established to raise the profile of impact measurement amongst volunteer-involving organisations in Scotland, providing them with the guidance and support they need to enable them to measure impact effectively.

It's vital that volunteer-involving organisations develop ways to measure the impact of their volunteering programmes on volunteers and beneficiaries, in order to improve performance and demonstrate the value of volunteering both internally and externally. The more we demonstrate the impact of volunteering on organisational performance, government policy and wider societal/community impacts, the easier it will be to secure funding for volunteering. The more we demonstrate the impact of volunteering on volunteers and non-volunteers, the more likely it will be that current volunteers continue to volunteer regularly and non-volunteers start volunteering.

So with that goal in mind, we created a questionnaire for volunteer-involving organisations across Scotland. The results of the questionnaire were really revealing and demonstrate that a lot more needs to be done to evidence the impact of volunteering. You can read the full report on the Volunteer Scotland website along with some top tips for how you can develop impact measurement in your organisation. We'll be presenting the report at the Scottish Parliament's Cross-Party Group on Volunteering during Volunteers' Week and hope to raise awareness of the importance of measuring the impact of volunteering so as to encourage and inspire more organisations to showcase the incredible difference that volunteers make.

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