Staff and volunteers’ perceptions of the volunteer programme: an alternative use of the Net Benefits Index

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Carolyn Cordery Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Karen Smith Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Sarah Proctor-Thomson Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Hager and Brudney (2004, 2005) developed a Net Benefits Index (NBI) to measure the performance of volunteer programmes. Their benchmarking tool scores an organisation's performance against six specific benefits and eight recognised challenges that organisations face in recruiting and managing volunteers. This article extends the NBI by demonstrating its use as an internal programme evaluation tool within two health non-profit organisations. By surveying all staff and volunteers (rather than relying on the organisational response from a single individual), the tool provides valuable insights into volunteer and staff attitudes about the volunteer programme. In addition to critiquing the NBI, this article highlights reasons for divergent scores between volunteers and staff and the improvements that can be made to a volunteer programme's effectiveness as a result of measurement.

Carolyn Cordery Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Karen Smith Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Sarah Proctor-Thomson Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand

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Voluntary Sector Review
An international journal of third sector research, policy and practice