Demonstrating Value Blog

March 27, 2014

Many years ago, I sketched out a visualization of how social and environmental impacts interelate as a living tree.  It helped me think about how diverse impacts can be closely connected, especially in how individual well-being connects with community well-being and the environment.  People I showed it to liked how it made them think about impacts that they wouldn't otherwise associate with their work.  Today I have made that sketch into a more legible drawing using Paint.! Not the most high end graphic design program, I know, but it no longer resides in a folder near my desk.   Each impact area also has many dimensions to explore which are already part of the Impact Mapping Worksheet and are listed below.  


How to use the...

February 27, 2014

February 28 (Vancouver)
Demonstrating Value - Farmers Market Impact Toolkit 
Annie Lambla, who developed the Farmers' Market Impact Toolkit, will present a hands-on morning workshop for Farmers' markets to learn how to use the toolkit.  Held as part of the BC Farmers' Market Association Annual Conference and AGM.
For more info,
click here

March 17th 12 noon ET (Teleconference)

February 26, 2014

Foodies take note! If you enjoyed reading about the Farmers Market Impact Toolkit and what we learned from it, here is an opportunity to explore the potential for your own food-related impact measurement project. On March 19 Junxion Strategy is presenting a Demonstrating Value workshop for funders and investors in local food and the organizations they love. This may be of direct interest to you, or perhaps to other foodies it in your networks.

Here is the summary from the event registration page:                                           

“Do you fund projects or organizations in the local food sector in British...

February 24, 2014


I keep seeing clever infographs everywhere: when I open a newspaper, browse Facebook, check my e-mail. They tell me the fast facts of the matter, show me road maps and timelines and show at a glance what I should learn and why I should care. (Google 'infographic' in Google Images for a curious serendipitous glimpse of the world!)  For the most part, they are a pretty fun way to share information at a glance, and are an anecdote to marketing copy and twitter in which too much content is reduced to a catch phrase.   They are perfect for showcasing the story and impact of your organization – essentially communicating key elements of a Performance Snapshot to a public audience. 


Along with the this blossoming of...

February 6, 2014


Social enterprises that provide meaningful work and training to people with barriers to employment create significant community value.  They are also complex business to run! In working with many such enterprises over the years, I've seen how managers strive to both create meaning social impact and build successful businesses, often in an environment where they have complex relationships and demands (to funders and 'parent' non profits) that wouldn't exist for a comparable small business. There is a compelling need to build systems early on that can provide clarity around what success looks like in multiple dimensions and which makes it easier to communicate value to attract more investment and support. 


These demands set the stage for Demonstrating Value's development. While DV's framework and tools aren't limited to employment-based social enterprises, there are a number of resources that are specifically geared to this type of enterprise.  In this blog I...

February 3, 2014

James Clear, in an article in Entrepreneurship magazine "Forget Setting Goals. Focus on this Instead," argues for focusing measurement on your systems instead of goals.  For instance, if your goal is to build a million dollar business, your system is your sales and marketing process. Why focus on systems? Goal tracking can be demoralising and reduces what you make of present in face of a future possibility.  Focusing on systems means that you build good habits that help you stick to the process.   (Read more: ...

January 30, 2014
My name is Garth Yule, and I was responsible for this blog for about a year while Bryn was on parental leave. It is my pleasure to update you on where I’ve been since leaving my post with the Demonstrating Value program almost exactly one year ago - the short version is that I took a year of leave for arrival of my second child (there must be something in the water around this office!) and have been doing a lot of late nights and drinking from bottles, but not in the fun nightclubbing way. Now that I am back to work I am excited to announce that I am working with the Demonstrating Value tools and framework again, but this time from the position of Engagement Manager with Junxion Strategy, a consulting company that is a frequent collaborator and...
January 28, 2014

One day last December my husband and I went on a 24 hour getaway to the Kananaskis Resort in the rocky mountains, with our toddler happily looked after by his grandparents back in Calgary.


This was our first little getaway so we stretched out adult time as much as possible - first a drink and appetizer at the Bighorn Lounge, then a fancy dinner at Grappa followed dessert through room service. We had  breakfast and take out lunch for x-country skiing at still another two restaurants at this Delta Hotels resort.


Needless to say it was a great trip. The reason why I'm sharing it here is that within days I received an e-mail request to fill a survey asking for customer feedback.  Nothing unusual. But what was interesting was that my survey input was quickly followed...

December 18, 2013

I recently discovered the meaning to life in a New York Times opinion piece: ‘A Formula for Happiness’.    Well not totally, but I now have some pretty cool insights.   What is fascinating is that the author never proposes a mathematical formula (that I would love to see), but he brings up evidence on different determinants of happiness and how they interrelate. I was struck at how useful it was to look at such a BIG question in this way even if we can’t actually can’t articulate the math. Happiness is big, complex and messy. Business, programs and other pursuits are often pretty big, complex and messy too. Can we apply more ‘formula-thinking’ into how we measure success in business and programs, even if we never come...

November 27, 2013

Last weekend I started my  Christmas shopping at the River Market in New Westminster.  I bought some lovely gifts at a  'studio shop' that sells artisanal and social enterprise work. It got me thinking about the relative power of the dollars I am spending for Christmas that can be directed to further benefit my local community. Thanks to LOCO BC, I can do more than just think.   They  comissioned a compelling study of the benefits of local spending: 


  • A 1% increase in spending at local businesses creates 3100 jobs and $94 million in annual wages ...