VIVA – The volunteer investment and value audit. A self-help guide
This is an updated guide to conducting a Volunteer Investment and Value Audit (VIVA). VIVA is a measurement tool that assesses the ‘outputs’ of volunteer programmes (the value of volunteers’ time) in relation to the ‘inputs’ (the resources used to support the volunteers). It also discusses how to account for employment overheads.
The end result is the VIVA ratio – for example a total value of £50,000 and expenditure of £10,000 yields a ratio of 5 (i.e. ‘for every £1 we spend on volunteers, we get back £5 in the value of the work they do’, a five-fold return on the organisation’s investment in volunteering).
VIVA has been well tried and tested by many large and small charities and voluntary groups since its creation in 1996. It has been used in public sector and employer-supported volunteering, and is approved by the National Centre for Volunteering and the British government. Organisations have found the process of carrying out a VIVA beneficial in: developing more effective management information on volunteers; better strategic planning and development of volunteer programmes; cost-effectiveness and boosting investment in volunteers; increased recognition, recruitment and retention of volunteers; attracting external funding and improving accountability; and public relations and promotion of the organisation.