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Measuring the impact of #NSVW17 events: What's action without reflection?

How can we measure the impact of our events?

One of the most rewarding aspects of facilitating an event or project is witnessing the end result, often measured by the sheer number of people involved and money raised, or an increased awareness of the issue in focus.

Once the event ends, however, we discover that it is not always easy to measure or communicate the short and long-term benefits. The process of monitoring and evaluating the impact of events is still the only way to determine their value and gain ideas for future improvement.

So… where to from here? Fortunately, people have developed ways to monitor and evaluate your events before, during and after NSVW17. We’ve pulled together some of these techniques here:

How can you measure impact?

While there are many research methods to measure impact, we recommend including one or two of these:

  1. Social media polls utilising social media platforms (extra bonus – it’s free!)
  2. Online surveys or questionnaires (using links in emails or social media posts)
  3. Individual, handwritten surveys (handed out during the event)
  4. One-on-one interviews with event participants and organisers
  5. Focus groups

Using a couple of these methods makes measuring impact easier and provides more rewarding outcomes for future direction.

Suitable questions to include

You've decided on an event to run and research method to measure impact. Now, what would be suitable questions to use?

For example, you run an informal networking lunch where students and local volunteer-involving organisations can meet, share their stories and discuss volunteering opportunities. Suitable questions can include:

  • Did you find the networking lunch to be beneficial and why?
  • Did you find a suitable volunteer role? Or, did you find student volunteers well suited to help your organisation?
  • Did you think the ‘flow’ of the lunch ran smoothly? If no, please explain why
  • Would you attend the event again in future?

The objective here is to base your questions around the theme of the activity/event and what you hope to achieve from the desired outcome.

  • Did our audience walk away learning something new about student volunteering?
  • Was our target of participation rates met?
  • Did we meet our objectives to get more students involved with student volunteering in the near future?
  • Were there lots of fantastic questions asked and discussions made?
  • Did the activity/event create a lot of word of mouth ‘buzz’ during NSVW17?

Climb on-board our nationwide impact measurement train

  • Register your event for NSVW17 at nationalstudentvolunteerweek.org.au/register. This helps you promote the amazing activities you have planned and helps us track events, attendance and get an idea of what kind of events are being held
  • Keep track of key details before, during and after NSVW17 – use a spreadsheet to record each event, the number of attendees, and any feedback received

Using these ideas to keep track of events and event details helps to ensure that future NSVW events are bigger and better than ever!