Every £1 spent on volunteering saves our communities £11

An independent analysis of our work shows that every £1 Sova spends on volunteering, there is an estimated societal saving of £11.


Ahead of our 40th anniversary in 2015 we wanted to be able to quantify our impact. An independent government statistician working with Sova assessed the impact of Sova’s rehabilitation and resettlement work. The analysis involved using the Justice Datalab reports from a Sova project in 2010 which was shown to significantly reduce reoffending.


Home Office estimates of costs of crime were used to calculate the costs of recorded and unrecorded crime for the group that Sova worked with and a match control group. Cost estimates take into account reported and unreported crime, and costs in anticipation of crime, as a consequence of crime, and in response to crime. This gave an estimated saving per individual that Sova worked with was £2,468. Using volunteer costs provided by Sova, this means that every £1 Sova spends on volunteering, there is an estimated societal saving of £11.


Despite the uncertainties involved in estimating such benefits, this is a heavy endorsement of the value of Sova’s work in their 40th anniversary year.  There are also benefits to communities from training volunteers, which are difficult to quantify. However, a volunteer survey in 2014 provides some valuable qualitative evidence.