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Investing in Volunteering: Measuring Social Returns of Volunteer Recruitment, Training and Management

  • Giacomo Manetti
  • Marco Bellucci
  • Elena Como
  • Luca Bagnoli
Original Paper

Abstract

In this paper, we analyse the costs and benefits of the investments that non-profit organizations (NPOs) make for the recruitment, training and management of volunteers. Our main research question is whether we can apply the Social Return on Investment (SROI) to the identification and quantification of social returns in monetary terms. We believe that the “SROI of volunteering” may represent an effective instrument of internal control for NPOs for improving efficiency and sustainability. In order to verify the feasibility and appropriateness of the SROI approach, we present a case-study on the Italian association Dynamo Camp, which works with children with serious illness through the organization of summer camps that offer “recreational therapy.” We believe that the presented methodology has the potential to contribute to the debate about the socio-economic impact organizations create for volunteers and for society at large.

Keywords

Volunteering SROI Non-profit organizations Dynamo camp Social returns 

Résumé

Dans cet article, nous analysons les coûts et les profits des investissements faits par les associations à but non lucratif pour le recrutement, la formation et la supervision des bénévoles. Notre question de recherche principale est : peut-on appliquer le retour social sur investissement (SROI) à l’identification et à la quantification du retour social en termes financiers ? Nous pensons que le « SROI du bénévolat » pourrait être un bon instrument de contrôle interne pour permettre aux associations à but non lucratif d’améliorer leur efficacité et leur pérennité. Afin de vérifier la faisabilité et la pertinence de l’approche SROI, nous présentons l’étude du cas de l’association italienne Dynamo Camp, qui organise des colonies de vacances basées sur la « thérapie récréative » pour des enfants atteints de maladies graves. Nous pensons que la méthode présentée peut contribuer au débat sur l’impact socioéconomique qu’ont ces associations sur les bénévoles et sur la société dans son ensemble.

Zusammenfassung

In diesem Beitrag analysieren wir die Kosten und Nutzen der Investitionen, die Non-profit-Organisationen für die Anwerbung, die Schulung und das Management ehrenamtlicher Mitarbeiter vornehmen. Unsere wichtigste Forschungsfrage ist, ob wir die Sozialrendite auf die Identifizierung und Quantifizierung sozialer Erträge im finanziellen Sinne anwenden können. Wir glauben, dass die „Sozialrendite der ehrenamtlichen Tätigkeit“ein effektives Instrument zur internen Kontrolle für Nonprofit-Organisationen darstellen kann, um ihre Effizienz und Nachhaltigkeit zu verbessern. Zur Prüfung der Realisierbarkeit und Angemessenheit des Sozialrenditenansatzes präsentieren wir eine Fallstudie des italienischen Vereins Dynamo Camp, der mit schwer kranken Kindern arbeitet und Sommercamps organisiert, die eine „Erholungstherapie“anbieten. Wir glauben, dass die präsentierte Methodik durchaus zur Debatte über die sozioökonomischen Auswirkungen von Organisationen auf ehrenamtlich Tätige und die Gesellschaft insgesamt beitragen kann.

Resumen

En el presente documento, analizamos los costes y beneficios de las inversiones que las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro (OSAL/NPO) realizan para el reclutamiento, formación y gestión de voluntarios. La principal pregunta de nuestra investigación es si podemos aplicar el Retorno Social de la Inversión (SROI, del inglés Social Return on Investment) para la identificación y cuantificación de rendimientos sociales en términos monetarios. Creemos que el “SROI del voluntariado” puede representar un instrumento efectivo de control interno para que las organizaciones sin ánimo de lucro mejoren la eficiencia y la sostenibilidad. Con el fin de verificar la idoneidad y pertinencia del enfoque del SROI, presentamos un estudio de caso sobre la asociación italiana Dynamo Camp, que trabaja con niños con enfermedades graves mediante la organización de campamentos de verano que ofrecen “terapia recreativa”. Creemos que la metodología presentada tiene el potencial de contribuir al debate sobre el impacto socioeconómico que crean las organizaciones para los voluntarios y para la sociedad en general.

摘要

本文中,我们对非营利性组织(NPOs)为招募、培训和管理志愿者所做的投资的成本与收益进行分析。我们研究的主要问题:以货币形式甄别与量化社会回报率时,是否可以应用投资的社会回报率(SROI)这一工具。我们认为,“志愿活动的SROI”可能是一种有效的内部控制工具;NPOs可利用此工具改善效率与可持续性。为了验证SROI方法的可行性与适宜性,我们针对意大利社团Dynamo Camp做案例分析。该社团通过与提供“娱乐疗法”的夏令营组织合作,为重症儿童提供治疗。我们认为,所展示的方法有潜力为解决关于组织对志愿者与整体社会所造成的社会经济影响的争议做贡献。

要約

本論文では、非営利組織(NPO)が募集、トレーニング、ボランティア管理のために行う投資のメリットとコストを分析する。主な研究の疑問点は、金銭面での社会的利益投資(SROI)の同定及び定量化を社会的利益として提供できるかどうかである。NPOの効率と持続可能性を改善する内部統制のための効果的な手段として、「ボランティアの SROI」を提示する。SROI アプローチの妥当性と実現可能性を検証するために、「レクリエーション療法」を提供するサマーキャンプの組織を通じて、深刻な疾患を持つ子どもと共に働くダイナモ・キャンプ・イタリア協会の事例研究について述べる。提示した方法論は、組織が編成するボランティアと広く社会の社会経済的影響についての議論に貢献する可能性がある。

مجردة

في هذا البحث نقوم بتحليل التكاليف والفوائد المترتبة على الإستثمارات التي تقوم بهاالمنظمات الغير ربحية (NPOs) للتوظيف ٬التدريب، وإدارة المتطوعين. سؤال البحث الرئيسي الخاص بنا هو ما إذا كنا نستطيع تطبيق العائد الإجتماعي على الإستثمار (SROI) لتحديد وتقدير حجم العائدات الإجتماعية من الناحية النقدية. نحن نعتقد أن “العائد الإجتماعي على الإستثمار (SROI) للتطوع” قد يمثل أداة فعالة للرقابة الداخلية للمنظمات الغير ربحية (NPOs) من أجل تحسين الكفاءة والإستدامة. من أجل التحقق من جدوى وملاءمة نهج العائد الإجتماعي على الإستثمار (SROI)٬ نقدم دراسة حالة عن الجمعية الإيطالية كامب دينامو، التي تعمل مع الأطفال الذين يعانون من مرض خطير من خلال تنظيم المخيمات الصيفية التي تقدم “العلاج الترفيهي”. نحن نعتقد أن المنهجية المقدمة لديها القدرة على المساهمة في النقاش حول الأثر الإجتماعي الإقتصادي التي تخلقه المجتمعات للمتطوعين وللمجتمع ككل.

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Copyright information

© International Society for Third-Sector Research and The Johns Hopkins University 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giacomo Manetti
    • 1
    • 2
  • Marco Bellucci
    • 2
    • 3
  • Elena Como
    • 2
    • 4
  • Luca Bagnoli
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Economics and ManagementUniversity of FlorenceFlorenceItaly
  2. 2.ARCO Action Research for CO-developmentPIN S.c.r.l.PratoItaly
  3. 3.Yunus Social Business Centre - University of FlorencePratoItaly
  4. 4.LAMA Development and Cooperation Agency/The Impact Hub FirenzeFlorenceItaly

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