Volunteer Management Handbook, Chapter 16 – Evaluating the Impact


Volunteer program evaluation (measurement) is among the most critical components required for effective program management and in the challenging area of documenting the impact and value of the program on the clientele for whom it is designed as well as the larger society in which the organization operates. Volunteer programs are intended to generate positive impacts and results in the lives of the clientele for whom they are designed and intended. This goal requires the volunteer manager to constantly gauge the focus of the volunteers and the programs in which they are engaged to ensure they are having their intended impact on the organization’s mission fulfillment. Impact evaluation provides the process and tools needed to assess and evaluate volunteer program contributions to mission fulfillment.

The author discusses the critical elements needed to measure program objectives, including:

  • The need to evaluate
  • Collecting the required impact evaluation data and information
  • Determining accountability requirements and processes
  • Monetizing impact


Dr. Dale Safrit
R. Dale Safrit, Ed.D. is a professor, Director of Graduate programs, and Extension specialist in the Department of 4-H Youth Development and Family & Consumer Sciences at North Carolina State University where he coordinates the Master’s program in Family Life and Youth Development, provides leadership to staff development for 4-H Extension field faculty, and teaches graduate courses in youth development leadership. His applied research focuses upon continuing professional development for nonprofit staff, mainly working with community youth development programs. He currently serves as the editor of The International Journal of Volunteer Administration, and is co-author of the book, Developing Programs in Adult Education: A Conceptual Programming Model (2002, Waveland Press, Inc.) as well as author or co-author of more than 85 peer reviewed articles in scholarly and professional journals. Dale has presented invited sessions at 12 International Conferences on Volunteerism, as well as in 41 of the 50 United States, four Canadian provinces, and 14 other countries.