It is important to gather information that helps you to understand what is happening in your programme and the difference that it is making.


Most voluntary organisations believe that what they are doing is good but it's not enough just to know this. There needs to be evidence to support the claims.

This is important in order to:

  • Understand and improve the experience of those being supported.

  • Explore how well needs are being met.

  • Understand what works well and what could be better.

  • Secure funding or report to funders.

  • Motivate and value volunteers and staff.

  • Build trust in the community.

Information that is collected needs to be appropriate to the type of volunteering programme. The following suggestions may help in giving an overall view of programme activity and trends.

Activity statistics

These may include:

  • Age.

  • Gender.

  • How many people with PEOLC needs are supported each month?

  • How many families are supported each month?

  • Type of support required.

  • Frequency and length of individual volunteer visits.

  • The number of successful and unsuccessful matches.

  • Volunteer turnover and why they leave?

Making a difference

The other type of information to be collected is about the difference that the programme is making, for example:

  • The difference to people with PEOLC needs.

  • The difference to families.

  • Impact on volunteers.

  • Impact on staff and organisation.

  • Impact on the community.

There are many approaches to gathering this information such as surveys and focus groups but whatever you do, make sure you share your findings in order to develop and improve practice.