Social returns of investment in volunteering

Posted by on Jun 14, 2013 in Blog | No Comments

ARCO researchers started a new project which aims to develop a methodology to capture and highlight the broad socio-economic value that third sector organizations produce through their volunteer recruitment, training, and management activities.

Through our methodological contribution we expect to realize a beta-version method for assessing the various socio-economic dimensions of volunteer work and its return on investment. The final aim is to calculate the social return of each unit of investment made by the organization in the process of “production” of volunteers.

We will apply this method to an Italian case study, represented by the Association Dynamo Camp Onlus, a non-profit organization that organizes recreational therapy camps for children with serious and life-threatening medical conditions. The Association is member of the SeriousFun Children’s Network, the world largest non-profit network in this field.

Results of this application will be discussed in detail in a paper that will be presented at 4th CIRIEC International Research Conference on Social Economy (University Antwerp, Belgium, 24-26 October 2013).

In particular, we will discuss the potential role of the SROI analysis applied to volunteer activity as an operating mechanism able to stimulate organizations 1) to achieve more efficiently and with more sustainability their planned aims, 2) to better manage their human resources, and 3) to valorise the often implicit benefits that volunteer work often brings to the volunteers themselves as well as to the broader society. Finally, the replicability of the audit process will be analysed.

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