By Mary Quirk, Executive Director, Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration - When I look back at volunteerism materials from 10 to 20 years ago, there are well articulated arguments for making the case on the value volunteers bring. What is different now is that we realize that we need not just powerful words, but also convincing data.
What is to be gained from better measurement? Executive leadership will know why and how to invest in volunteer resources, funders will see how volunteer resources contribute to their goals, the role of volunteers on critical issues will be elevated, and volunteers will be better able to see the impact they could have. As a country, we have too many people that are hungry, homeless or lonely; too many environmental problems and more. Volunteers are a main resource for progress on these critical issues. Lack of awareness of their impact impairs using their full potential.