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Making an Impact with SVW

Posted on 14 Feb 2015

Several of you have been asking about our impact measurement recommendations for SVW 2015 and how your impact can be counted towards the national impact of the campaign. This is GREAT NEWS and we've put together this blog post to make sure your impact measurement can be stress-free but also very effective.

All of the data that you gather will not only help us to prove the value of SVW on our campuses and improve activities for next year, but it will also help us to paint a picture of the impact of Student Volunteering Week nationally, ensuring that we can continue the campaign for many years to come. Wouldn't that be great!?

We first introduced the importance of impact measurement in our first webinar back in October. You can still watch that webinar and download the slides from our Resources page if you missed it or would like a refresh.

What is impact measurement? Why is it important?

“The process by which you measure what effect your project, programme or initiative has had, or is having, on an individual, community or the environment.”

Measuring your impact allows you to prove your impact because you can…

  • Be accountable
  • Provide evidence of value for money
  • Communicate the programme’s strengths and weaknesses
  • Lay foundation for greater impact

Measuring your impact allows you to improve your impact because you can…

  • Better understand the current impact
  • Make comparisons
  • Identify areas to improve or develop
  • See and understand unintended impact
  • Make effective decisions about the future

Official guidance for SVW 2015

Here's what you need to know… There are 3 key recommendations, all explained in detail below with sample questions and suggested methods.

  • Prepare a set of pre-survey questions to ask all students who you interact with before/during SVW
  • Prepare a set of questions for attendees of events & activities during SVW
  • Get ready to measure key metrics during the week

You can easily copy & paste the questions below and add your own questions based on your preferred method of surveying (e.g. in person, paper forms, or online, e.g. SurveyMonkey, Google forms, Qualtrics)


These very short pre-survey questions are designed to help you find out more about how many students volunteer at your college and university, and how well you’ve been publicising SVW. They could be asked before the week (as part of your pre-SVW publicity online and on campus) and/or during the week (as part of your during-SVW publicity online and on campus).

To conduct a pre-survey, you can simply copy and paste the questions below into your choice of feedback method…

  • Online form (e.g. SurveyMonkey, Google forms, Qualtrics) to be shared on Facebook, included in newsletters, circulated via departments, societies etc.
  • In person. For example, if students are on campus advertising SVW anyway, they could also have a clipboard with the questions on so that they can interview people and tally responses. Or if you’ve got a stall on campus, you could have a stack of paper forms & pencils at a stand on campus.

Recommended pre-survey questions

1. Have you volunteered before?

  • Yes
  • No

2. (If they answer yes) – Do you currently volunteer?

  • Yes
  • No

3. Do you know that it is Student Volunteering Week (this week/ next week)?

  • Yes
  • No

4. (If they answer yes) – How did you hear about SVW?

  • Social media
  • Word of mouth
  • Flyer / poster
  • Careers Department
  • Students’ Union
  • Volunteering Centre
  • University email/newsletter
  • Student society
  • Attending another event/activity
  • Other (explain)

Regardless of answers, don’t forget to include a link to your SVW webpage/Facebook page at the end of the survey!


The purpose of the attendees survey is to measure the impact of the SVW events and activities that you planned. This should be top priority.

We highly recommend asking the questions below as they have been designed around the overall aims of Student Volunteering Week and to help you prove and improve the impact of your events and activities.

To survey attendees of SVW events/activities, you can simply copy and paste the questions below into your choice of feedback method…

  • Paper feedback forms that attendees fill out at the end of an event. This will guarantee responses and you’ll need to set aside time afterwards to collate the data
  • Online form (e.g. SurveyMonkey, Google forms, Qualtrics) that you email attendees to fill in after the event
  • TOP TIP! Don’t forget to mention several times at the event that you’ll be sending a feedback form afterwards and that their feedback is very important for improving future events

Recommended attendees survey questions

1. Their details: We always recommend collecting attendees' names and email addresses to add them to your mailing list and send them follow-up information about other volunteering opportunities. We will not ask you to share that info with us.

2. How did you hear about the event/activity you attended?

  • Social media
  • Word of mouth
  • Flyer / poster
  • Careers Department
  • Students’ Union
  • Volunteering Centre
  • University email/newsletter
  • Student society
  • Attending another event/activity
  • Other (explain)

3. Are you aware that this is event is part of Student Volunteering Week?

  • Yes
  • No

4. As a result of attending today’s event/activity, do you feel inspired to volunteer again in the future?

  • Yes
  • Neither more nor less likely
  • No

5. Do you feel encouraged to get involved in volunteering by your college or university?

  • Definitely
  • Sometimes
  • Rarely
  • Never

6. How important do you feel volunteering is to the student experience?

  • Very important
  • Important
  • Not very important
  • Not at all important

7. How many events/activities did you participate in during SVW?

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5+

8. What did you enjoy about the event(s)/activity(ies) that you participated in? (free response)

9. What could have been better about the event(s)/activity(ies) that you participated in? (free response)

Additional key metrics that we will ask you to report back on

Strongly recommended:

  • Number of events
  • Number of event attendees
  • Which of the national aims you planned events/activities for
  • Mentions in press
  • Quotes/anecdotes of people’s experience of SVW

Highly recommended:

  • Social media reach and/or increase
  • Number of new signups to your newsletter or to ongoing volunteering projects
  • Any endorsement from key stakeholders

Sharing your results with us

  • After the week, on Monday 2 March, we will send you a link to an online form where you can easily input the headline data that you have collected as well as a staff survey for you to fill in.
  • We will give you 3 weeks from the end of SVW to complete this. The deadline for inputting data & completing the staff survey will be Monday 23 March.

If you have any questions about the guidance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us, we are more than happy to help or advise via phone or email on the best ways to collect data before, during and after the week.

The SVW Team

The national team from Student Hubs & NUS coordinate SVW activities for the nationwide campaign. Get into touch at info@studentvolunteeringweek.org.uk

Categories: Advice