Calculating the ROI of volunteer engagement

There are a variety of ways to measure the effect of volunteer engagement, and each approach has its own specific purpose. Some methods look at the benefits that volunteering brings to the volunteers themselves. Some look at the monumental vision of how volunteerism shapes a community – or bigger yet, a society. Many approaches look only at wage replacement value in relationship to the number of volunteer hours contributed. This last method, although perhaps helpful in the past, has become less useful as the sector has come to recognize volunteerism as something more than just hours.

The Mission Points ROI model treats the number of volunteer hours consumed by an organization, as an expense. Viewed as expenditure, we would value volunteer time in the same way that we value money: we would spend only to the degree necessary, to best reach the mission of our organization. Consuming more volunteer hours might mean more gets accomplished – or it may mean volunteer time is being wasted.

The Mission Points ROI model, designed for internal performance monitoring, allows us to see volunteer contributions as an expense, and in turn encourages us to manage our incredibly valuable volunteer resources more effectively. You can learn more at a free ROI calculator sponsored by Volunteer2 at

I have to agree with Kate

Having been one of the few PAID volunteer managers in the museum sector this isn’t actually a bad salary for this position. When I started in the museum sector, having had several years experience of volunteer management for a social care charity, my wage was $19, 632. I worked for a big local authority museum service that had $2000 friends and over 300 volunteers and placements a year, no policies or procedures and I co-ordinates all of them. I thoroughly enjoyed my job, met some great people and worked on some interesting projects but salaries are unfortunately ridiculously low.

This is not to excuse the level of salaries in the museum sector but unfortunately I can’t see things getting better in the near future.

Your comments and feedback have been much appreciated and thank you all for your contributions. The pay is in line with the Museum’s pay scales and other salaries and is also dictated by limits on funding imposed by historic circumstances/central government funding. The application deadline for applications has been extended to Friday 14 December 2016.