One of the most popular sessions at the conference, this Forum included presentations from three speakers, all extensively involved with program monitoring and evaluation, all approaching the topic from a different perspective.
Sue Gammons focused on how GSK collects and uses data about the experience of employees volunteering abroad, including impact on the community served, the volunteers and the company. Carolina Leite from GRACE in Portugal discussed an an initiative to create guidelines for socially responsible investors with the main goal to promote and introduce an impact assessment culture in Portugal. Matthew Farmer from Emerging World stressed the importance of having reliable data about your programs because “without data you are just another person with an opinion” and discussed options to achieving this.
It was apparent that measuring the impact of corporate volunteering on “employee engagement” was a relatively advanced area of impact measurement relative to other aspects.
An important take away from the session related to alternative approaches to impact assessment: from the goal of understanding the value of the program or the goal of determining how to improve the program. The speakers agreed that, from the outset, it is important to be very clear who the audience is for which data is being collected. In addition, the participants also discussed the time and costs involved in doing impact assessment. An issue for companies is how to moderate the tendency of the NGO partners to give positive feedback because they fear the loss of company funding or volunteer support.
Prepared by Kylee Bates, Moderator
MATTHEW FARMER is the founder and managing director of Emerging World, which focuses on supporting business leaders, the companies that employ them, and to make major transitions in the way they think and act. As the Managing Director of Emerging World, Matthew leads the business and is responsible for its development and growth worldwide.
SUE GAMMONS is the Operations Manager for the PULSE Volunteer Partnership, GSK’s skills-based volunteering initiative. Sue has worked with GSK for over 20 years, in a range of roles across different areas of the business including medically-aligned and scientific roles, managing customer-facing teams and leading global transformational change projects.
CAROLINA LEITE is a Board Member of GRACE – Group of Reflection and Support to Corporate Citizenship in representation of CH Business Consulting, a non-profit organization that represents 130 companies, making it the biggest CSR association in Portugal. Carolina currently works as the HR Business Unit Director and CSR Director at CH Business Consulting.
KYLEE BATES is the World President for the International Association for Volunteer Effort. She is currently the General Manager Jobactive for Advanced Personnel Management. She previously served as the State Director of Service Delivery for Mission Australia, one of Australia’s largest non-profit community service organizations, and was also the Deputy CEO of Volunteering Australia for over four years.