Demonstrating Value Blog
After a certain point, and perhaps dozens and even hundreds of versions of spreadsheets, there comes a time to contemplate whether there is an easier way to track data. You know that countless hours can be spent finding and making sense of data when it comes time for planning, budgeting, and in even day to day activities like sales. But it can be hard to understand the full costs involved in acquiring software and how they relate to your ability to save staff time (and put it to other uses), as well as improving your relationships that ultimately relate to you bottom line(s).
Demonstrating Value has developed and posted...read more
If you've learned about Snapshots and want to design one yourself, here are some design tips, borrowed from graphic designers, that will help you design a snapshot that is effective visually, and which will easily capture and hold the attention of others.
1. Keep it simple and uncluttered.
2. Limit your colour choices. Use colours that ‘go together’ (colour harmony). Pick colour scheme based on your logo, or a key photo in the snapshot. (see below)
3. Limit the number of...
Earlier this year, I was invited to lecture about impact measurement for a number of different social enterprise-related classes, both as part of academic programs and incubators. While I mostly stayed fairly practical, 'academic-lite', I thought it would be useful to give an overview of what the field of impact measurement looks like and the options and tools out there.
I've frequently come across the statement that there can be a bewildering array of tools that makes impact measurement challenging to access and apply. I would agree that it can seem confusing. At a basic level though, they all identify, collect and use/show data that indicate that social value is created. They just differ in how deeply they go into the mechanics of how social impact occurs and finding evidence of...read more
The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) provides short, on-demand eLearning on a variety of topics that address planning and operational needs of new and mature social enterprises alike. This includes aspects of planning, marketing, pricing, operation and more. Courses have clear learning objectives which are developed through practical activities, and each course is a great gateways for learning with clear direction on where to learn more. Five measurement courses, developed by Bryn Sadownik, have now been added to the Institute's website.
Measuring Business Performance
The starting point for every social enterprise in measurement is usually the financials: to set up an accounting system to track money in and money out. But extending measurement beyond this to include other aspects of business performance and organizational sustainability, can help you to uncover the...read more
In a recent blog, I described some work that Vancity Community Foundation had led to develop a societal cost calculator for work integration social enterprises (WISE) in Vancouver. Another aspect of the project, was to develop a shared impact map and indicators. While individual social enterprises within Vancouver differ in the goods and services they produce and the way in which they engage individuals who are marginalized, they are all working towards similar outcomes. An outcome is a term used in impact maps (logic models/theory of change) that describes the social change that occurs as a result of the strategies and activities of a social enterprise.
Our challenge is to be able to capture these outcomes more formally and in consistent terms across different enterprises and in a way that could help to...read more
There are some pretty interesting events coming up that relate to evaluation, measuring social impact and data visualizations. I would love to attend them all!
January 9-14 (Claremont, California)
The Evaluators Institute
A remarkable line-up of sessions relating to evaluation. More info
January 11 (Manitoba)
Logic Models/Visual Planning
Learn how to develop logic models. (Canadian Evaluation Society, Manitoba Chapter) More info
January 11 – February 22 (Toronto)
Infographics and Data Visualization
A short course at George Brown College....
The Social Enterprise Institute was launched last year to offer on-demand eLearning courses relating to different aspects of launching and strengthening social enterprises. It is geared to make it easier for people to learn about topics that specifically interest them, wherever they may be, and whenever they want.
The Institute breaks out course offerings in terms of ‘Explore’, ‘Build’ and ‘Thrive.’ ‘Explore’ is populated with courses on a practical range of topics that are essential to planning. Fourteen courses are currently available including Opportunity Identification, Business Model Canvas, Financial Plan, and Legal Aspects.
This year, courses in ‘Build’ and ‘Thrive’ will be added that provide instruction on topics relevant to social enterprises that have been launched, such as marketing, pricing strategies, and of course, measurement! To this end, I am currently developing four courses that will be available on the...read more
Seniors with complex and chronic health conditions face many challenges. Between 2012 and 2015, Green Shield Canada Foundation (GSCF) funded five health care organizations in the Toronto area to work collaboratively to address aspects of these challenges, investing more than $3 million in specific projects relating to information technology, training, and integrated home care. This was known as the 'Health Innovation Collaborative' (HIC). Over the three years, GSCF created many opportunities for the funded organizations to work together to share their knowledge, expertise, and resources.
Many Canadians may know Green Shield Canada as a not-for-profit insurer specializing in individual and group health and dental plans. ...read more
A project is currently underway in Quebec to design and disseminate tools that collective enterprises and social organizations can use to measure their economic and social impact. This project is bringing together researchers, enterprises, associations/ networks, and funders together to:
- Share knowledge and practices
- Define and test methods and indicators in variety of contexts
- Support enterprises who are seeking to evaluate their impact (through training)
The project began in Spring 2016 and is envisioned as a three year project. Since last summer, they have been developing a concept paper that will synthesize the current state of knowledge in this area...
Tools like Survey Monkey and Fluid Survey are low or no-cost, easy to use and accessible to anyone with e-mail. But this also means there are many more surveys out there as well as other competing demands on people’s attention. It is more important than ever, to design an effective survey that yields data that you can act on.
Here are some design tips to help:
1. Keep it simple. Use straight forward wording in the level of language used by the respondent. Also consider a simple design with limited graphics and fonts.
2. Be clear about your intentions. Respondents are more likely to help you if they see something of positive value for them. So take the time to set out why you are asking for this info; what you do with the data; how you will respect privacy and confidentiality.
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