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
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.
In 2012, Vancity Community Foundation (VCF) and the BC Association of Farmers Markets collaborated on the development of a Farmers Market Impact Toolkit that is available on the Demonstrating Value resource page.
Templates that can support data collection, analysis and reporting abound in many different formats and locations on websites. You can find these on sites that support community, small business and social enterprise developments, and as part of software tools like Google docs, Survey, Form Builder and Database Tools. Here is a small sampling of the range of templates that are out there that could be directly relevant to what you do.
My vote is long since mailed in, but I am always on the look out for publications and tools that take complex data about impact and relates it to my own personal decisions. Here is a pretty amazing 'data journalism' project called Moving Forward, that explores the future of transportation in Metro Vancouver. Even if you do not live in his region, it is a pretty remarkable website with both excellent analysis and tools that can enable you to explore different facets of sustainable transportation.
The glossy photos of software solutions are very appealing: a person smiling and relaxed while working at a computer (and not looking like they are on the verge of throwing it against a wall); screenshots that show colourful graphics and easy to read data.
Some of the most challenging impacts to define and measure relate to the value of arts and culture. While it is quite common to see output numbers like attendance and participation rates for arts and culture-related initiatives, rarely do we see measures that relate to deeper impacts.
Starting a social enterprise in a non-profit often starts with a simple idea – renting out space, starting a gift store, offering a current service to a new (paying) market, providing supportive employment opportunities to clients.
On a daily basis I receive a lot of spam mail about how I can make my website better and drive more people to it. Thus I was a little skeptical when I came across BDC's Free Website Evaluation tool that promises to make it so you can “start improving your website today!” At the same time, I do find it hard to understand how the Demonstrating Value website is performing, particularly as it relates to other websites out there, and I have some confidence that the tool's host, the BDC, is fairly reputable as a federal crown corporation. I always like the idea of free assessment tools.
Measuring quality of life is a HUGE area and is increasingly being done to understand the key outcomes of many programs, particularly in social services, health care, community development and education. This is great! Interest in measuring quality of life gets to the core of what measurement should be about - measuring what matters - rather than sticking with what is easy and not particularly important.