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Volunteer Program Evaluation Form, Template, & Questions

Free Evaluation Form Templates

Volunteer programs can add immense value to your organization. Of course, they also don't operate by themselves. A comprehensive and regular volunteer program evaluation can help you determine which aspects of the program are working, which are not, and how you can improve over time.

Evaluating the effectiveness of volunteer programs, of course, is not always easy. You'll need to know what metrics and indicators to track, what tools to use, and how to analyze any surveys you conduct to create comprehensive reports. And yet, it's an absolute necessity when developing your volunteer program.

To avoid getting overwhelmed, the best thing to do is to break it down step by step. This guide will help you understand what questions to ask, how to evaluate the answers, which metrics to track, the best reports to build, and tools that can help.

Let's dive in.

8 Volunteer Program Metrics and Indicators to Track in Any Evaluation

Growing your volunteer program means understanding exactly which metrics actually indicate that growth. Some of the most central metrics in volunteer program evaluation include:

  1. Volunteer participation rates
  2. Total number of hours volunteered
  3. Number of volunteer opportunities or activities
  4. Money raised through volunteering
  5. Digital reach of volunteer-related content
  6. Volunteer retention rate over time
  7. Organizational costs per volunteer hour, including money and time spent on training and materials
  8. Volunteer satisfaction rate

Tracking these metrics, especially over a longer time period, can give you powerful insight into the health and growth of your volunteer program.

Trend data allows you to better understand where improvements might be needed, or where engagement numbers might be dropping.

5 Volunteer Program Evaluation Questions to Ask in a Regular Survey

Of course, quantitative metrics are just one of the various volunteer program evaluation methods.  Another core best practice includes asking your volunteers directly about their experience and drawing conclusions from there.

Creating a volunteer survey can help you gather that information in a relatively standardized fashion. Beyond basic demographics and contact information for tracking and follow-ups, potential questions can include:

  1. On a scale of 1 through 5, how satisfied are you with your experience as a volunteer?
  2. How likely are you to recommend our volunteer opportunities to friends, coworkers, or family?
  3. What would you change about your volunteer experience?
  4. Do you feel that your volunteering has made a difference? If so, how?
  5. How likely are you to volunteer with us again?

These questions, especially when standardized into a 1-5 rating scale, help you track the effectiveness of your program from the volunteers' perspective.

Be sure to include some free-form answers as well, which can give you a more in-depth picture of their experience.

How to Turn Your Metrics and Survey Results into a Volunteer Program Evaluation Report

Conducting a survey, of course, is only part of the equation. The other half is a volunteer program survey analysis that helps you with important takeaways to grow and improve the program.

Analyzing your survey is easier when you follow a few best practices for volunteer program evaluation:

  • Keep it short, with just a few questions like the above to keep your audience's focus and maximize response rates.
  • Be intentional about open-ended responses, keeping the majority of answers on a pre-defined scale to avoid ambiguity.
  • Avoid leading questions that would tempt your respondents to answer in a specific way.
  • When providing multiple answer options, always include an "other" option.
  • Distribute your survey through all relevant channels for your volunteers and leave it open long enough to gain a large enough sample size.

The next step is combining that analysis with tracking the metrics mentioned above and turning it into a more comprehensive report.

For example, consider making your volunteer program evaluation part of a more comprehensive annual report that covers past work and the impact it has made on the organization and community. 

3 Free Volunteer Program Evaluation Tools 

Tracking metrics, running surveys, and creating reports can sound complicated. Fortunately, the right tools can help to make sure that it doesn't need to be.

Each of these options is free and ready for any organization to use in evaluating the larger program:

  • Perdoo is a great performance evaluation system that allows you to enter any KPIs to visualize and track them over time. It has a free version available for up to 10 users in the organization.
  • SurveyMonkey is a free survey tool that allows you to build easily navigable questionnaires for your volunteers. Its integrated survey analysis tool is perfect for quickly gaining insights from the answers your volunteers provide.
  • Tableau is a dashboard and data visualization tool to create visually appealing reports from your analysis. Its Tableau Public version is always free and perfect to explore the power of the software before deciding whether a paid plan is worth the investment.

Free options, of course, can only take you so far. They're still limited to specific functions, and not optimized toward volunteer programs.

If you want to level up from these free tools, consider a volunteer management platform. It's an invaluable tool that can help you streamline the collection of essential volunteer data, like program impact, hours worked, and volunteer surveys. 

Use This Volunteer Program Evaluation Template to Get Started

A comprehensive volunteer program evaluation is complex, but some templates can help you get started with minimal friction.

For example, consider using a standardized volunteer program evaluation form that anyone participating in the program can fill out after their experience.

Want these Volunteer Evaluation Templates delivered to your inbox?

These templates are easy to follow and can help you hit the core KPIs and information you need to create a report and a more regular evaluation effort. 

It's difficult to overstate the importance of evaluating volunteer programs. The right evaluation can help you better understand how your individual events and overall efforts are performing, ultimately giving you the information you need to reliably grow the program as a whole.

With the right metrics, survey setup, and reports, you'll be well on your way to a strategic evaluation effort designed for long-term success.

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