As you scan down your list of volunteers to determine who to give the biggest shout out, it might be worth noting how much time they really spend on behalf of your schools and students.  While most don’t do it for the recognition, there are some good reasons why you should keep track of volunteer hours.

Reason#1:  Time Is Money

When your school and district can demonstrate on a grant application how many community members are engaged in your schools the chances of your grant award only goes up.  When you can actually provide quantitative data on volunteer hours the odds improve even more.  In fact, more-and-more socially-minded, non-profit organizations require engagement metrics either as part of the application or as part of the reporting of outcomes.  Make your application stand out with verifiable details like growth in volunteer numbers and hours, year-over-year and school-by-school.

Reason#2:  Engagement Equals Student Success

Because the research shows that student outcomes improve when parents actively participate in their children’s education, family engagement is becoming a requirement in a growing number of schools.  Making sure that family and community members are matched to useful in-class or office volunteer opportunities and that you record their hours helps quantify that engagement when looking at end-of-term results.

Reason#3:  Community Partners Seek ROI

Collaboration between your school or district and local partners highlights the business or organization that is working with your students. Often the partner is contributing employee time, as well as other material and supplies.  Tracking all those hours and their value, and then sharing that back with those organizations shows your commitment and can help build an even stronger, sustainable partnership.

Reason#4:  What About House Bill 5?

If you work for a Texas school district, someone in your central office has started pouring over the new education statutes from the recent Texas legislative session.  As part of those statutes in House Bill 5 is a requirement to begin reporting at the district and campus level on ‘community and student engagement’, assign a rating and report the rating to TEA.

While we found no explicit requirement for quantitative data on volunteer numbers and time, what better way to create a metric that addresses accountability, promotes volunteerism, and leans toward legislative intent in measuring engagement in your schools.

In other states there may not be specific legislation yet that requires you to track volunteer hours.  However, there is a growing emphasis by state K-12 agencies and legislatures to quantify and report on community involvement.  We have spoken to districts in several different regions where similar bills are on the legislative agenda.

To learn more about Relatrix and how our EZVolunteer and EZPartner products can help support your efforts to recruit volunteers and partners, as well as record and report hours by campus, visit our website to Contact Us or call our offices at 800.570.6234 ext. 1.