New York Cares asked the Capstone team to propose a path that would allow the organization to potentially measure their volunteers’ impact on community health. In the report, the Capstone team defined and demonstrated how impact volunteerism, a concept and strategy successfully used in cities around the country, can be applied to the imperative work of New York Cares, allowing the organization to transition from an output to outcomes model.

The scope of the project was how to define, measure, and illustrate New York Cares’ impact at a community level beyond outputs. New York Cares provide an essential one-stop online platform to connect people with volunteering opportunities around the city. The platform not only serves as a tool to locate volunteer opportunities, it promotes opportunities for volunteers to address the immediate needs of neighborhoods in the city. The Capstone team focused on how one would take this model and consider best practices for transitioning to an outcomes model that is focused on measuring the health of a community.

In order to do this, impact volunteering was defined, supplemented with secondary research on how other organizations and local government institutions utilize the strategies of impact volunteering to tackle pressing public problems. This final deliverable comprised of relevant research and key learnings from impact volunteerism, suggested indicators for measuring community health, recommendations to New York Cares, and the logic framework and theory of change.