Staff and Volunteers’ Perceptions of the Volunteer Programme: an alternative use of the Net Benefits Index

Carolyn J. Cordery, Karen A. Smith, Sarah Proctor-Thomson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hager and Brudney (2004, 2005) developed a Net Benefits Index (NBI) to measure the performance of volunteer programmes. Their benchmarking tool scores an organisation's performance against six specific benefits and eight recognised challenges that organisations face in recruiting and managing volunteers. This article extends the NBI by demonstrating its use as an internal programme evaluation tool within two health non-profit organisations. By surveying all staff and volunteers (rather than relying on the organisational response from a single individual), the tool provides valuable insights into volunteer and staff attitudes about the volunteer programme. In addition to critiquing the NBI, this article highlights reasons for divergent scores between volunteers and staff and the improvements that can be made to a volunteer programme's effectiveness as a result of measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)173-191
Number of pages19
JournalVoluntary Sector Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Voluntary Sector Review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version Cordery, Carolyn; Smith, Karen; Proctor-Thomson, Sarah. Staff and volunteers' perceptions of the volunteer programme: an alternative use of the Net Benefits Index. Voluntary Sector Review, Volume 6, Number 2, June 2015, pp. 173-191(19) is available online at:


  • Evaluating volunteers
  • Volunteer programme challenges
  • Volunteer programme benefits
  • Volunteer programme assessment


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