Australian Business Volunteers (ABV) has published its 2015-16 Annual Report with a new focus on demonstrating impact.

“We have found that not only do initial assignments result in improved business and organisational skills, our longer-term work leads to sustained outcomes. We have witnessed how the steady income growth of social enterprises has had the multiplier effect of families having greater access to education” said ABV’s CEO, Sarah O’Connor.

In a key finding 83% of host organisations believed that the volunteer they had hosted had met their capacity building objectives.

Volunteers produced immediate improvements to their host organisations, including:
o 32% reporting improved accounting practices
o 41% reporting the development of new products
o 42% reporting improved product quality
o 57% reporting the development of a new strategic plan

In terms of intermediate outcomes of volunteer assignments:
o 44% of organisations said that the overall productivity of their organisation had increased,
o 22% reported cost savings, &
o 14% said that they had hired new staff.

ABV also undertook in-depth longitudinal analysis of a number of host organisations in order to establish whether and how volunteer assignments had impacted on them. Through interviews and participatory exercises ABV established that volunteers contributed to a number of long-term community outcomes, including:
o Six Vietnamese rural homestays whose incomes went from zero to around $1100 per month over three years, allowing children to attend school.
o A social enterprise’s contribution to the budget of a Philippines children’s rights NGO rising from 20% to 30% helping support 200 vulnerable children.
o A community learning centre in rural PNG jumping from less than 50 to more than 350 students, and becoming regional education leader over a seven year period.

The Annual Report can be viewed at: www.abv.org.au/our-impact/annual-reports/