What you measure matters – and not everything that matters can be measured. Sue Carter Kahl of Sue Carter Kahl Consulting knows that better than most. She joins me on this episode to discuss how we can use research that aligns with our purpose to improve our impact.

Dr. Kahl discusses how the best way to improve what we measure is not to start with the data themselves but rather always keep our organization’s mission at the heart of what we do. Research can see scary, but really it’s “an organized way of wondering” and we all have questions that we need answered, don’t we? The trick is picking the questions that are centered on our purpose and who we serve.

Dr. Kahl runs an insightful and approachable blog called Volunteer Commons. Some of her posts related to today’s discussion are:

What If We Stopped Counting Volunteer Hours?

When and Where to Use Wage Replacement Rates for Volunteer Value

Trading Measurement for Witnessing

Mission-Centered Volunteer Data Collection

The Tension Involved in Articulating Volunteer Impact

Dr. Sue Carter Kahl has spent her professional life working and volunteering in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors. Her work as President of Sue Carter Kahl Consulting is infused with lessons learned as a nonprofit executive, board member, fundraiser, volunteer, and researcher. Her current projects include consulting and training on the value that volunteers bring to organizations, translating research on volunteer impact into practitioner-friendly resources, and blogging at Volunteer Commons. Sue has a PhD in Leadership Studies and a Master’s in Social Work Administration. She is committed to bridging practice and academia in the volunteer field.

An Action For You
An Action For You

What is one thing you are measuring because it’s easy, rather than because it’s really what you care about changing?


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