Higher Logic Blog

Keeping Score on Your Volunteer Programs

Written by Caitlin Struhs | August 6, 2015 at 7:00 PM

Does your volunteer program have a scoring system? When it comes to supporting volunteer programs, especially within an online community, the limitation is always staff time and resources. And the best-case scenario is being able to track how individuals’ volunteering efforts and the volunteer program overall impacts your organization. This is where your community can help—develop a score card for your volunteers to participate and track their engagement.

There is already widespread demand and desire from organizations’ members to give back—a scoring system will make it easier to connect, join opportunities and track how programs perform. The value in volunteering also means increased ROI for your organization.

Tasks and projects can vary greatly for volunteers—points will keep you on track for managing opportunities, time spent and overall engagement. Assign different points to different volunteer types.

Here’s a system we use in Higher Logic’s Volunteer Manager engagement system, which we think works pretty well:

  • Time-based: values based on time it takes to perform the task. Example: If shortest opportunity/activity takes 15 minutes to complete, 1 point = 15 minutes.
  • Experience multiplier: time-based points multiplied by an experience multiplier to scale the difference between a simple, unqualified task and one that requires skills or previous experience

Now check out a few examples below on how you can apply this scoring system for your members and their activities:

Brian the Blogger

  • Member for 5 years
  • Part of organization’s young professionals network
  • Recent volunteer activity: Published 3 blogs on community site (3 hours + 2.0 skill multiplier = 24 points)

What’s next?

Has Brian met Committee Courtney yet? Perhaps he would be interested in getting more involved in the organization’s online community, or even writing more for the industry. Courtney could pitch the idea of writing a three-part blog series on a relevant topic for their communications committee.

Committee Courtney

  • Member for 10 years
  • Beta tester for the organization’s community launch a few years ago
  • Joined and now serves on communications committee
  • Recent volunteer activity: Volunteered to help publish a white paper for a social media committee (10 hours + 4.0 skill multiplier = 160 points)

What’s next?

Courtney has caught Bill the Board Member’s attention with her newly published white paper, and he thinks she’d be perfect as a representative and session speaker for an upcoming industry conference. She could expand on some of her ideas for the organization’s social media strategy and network with both new and veteran members looking to get more involved.

Bill the Board Member

  • Member for 20 years
  • Served on two committees for industry policy and government relations
  • Integral in helping to build up and manage an annual fly-in day for members’ Hill meetings
  • Serves on the board of directors
  • Recent volunteer activity: Has served on the board for one year (includes meetings, project reviews and research—100 hours + 5.0 multiplier = 2,000 points)

What’s next?

Bill is a busy board member who loves traveling and interacting with members and key stakeholders. He has made connections with a lot of industry experts, and the organization hopes he will consider becoming an active thought leader and speaker once his term on the board is complete.

Work out a system that makes the most sense for your organization. Functions such as time, experience level and dollar rate/value per opportunity can be adjusted to show value levels for different volunteer types and programs. An added bonus: this type of in-depth tracking could also prove ROI produced from your volunteer programs.

Check out Higher Logic's new product, Volunteer Manager, to see how your organization can take volunteer programs, tracking and automation capabilities to the next level.