Demonstrating Value Blog

November 1, 2012

Measuring tapeThat’s exactly what the UK based New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) was interested in finding out when they surveyed 1,000 charities in a recently released research project: Making an Impact. Released October 16, this 73 page document outlines the pleasant surprises and troubling challenges that face non-profits that are trying to demonstrate their impact.

The study examines the roles of charities, funders, and government and the changes that need to happen within each group to improve the overall practice of impact measurement. While this research was conducted in the UK, many of the trends are taking place in Canada too....

October 25, 2012

Right now, data visualization is a hot topic! It’s a great tool for presenting long sets of data in a way that’s efficient and easy to understand. Data visualization isn’t a new concept, but through innovation and new technology there are now more ways to view, understand and remember high levels of information.

We’re partial to performance snapshots as an effective tool for data visualization. They’re succinct when sharing information, visually appealing, and allow the user to interact with the data, which ultimately increases their understanding of it. But we’ve come across other noteworthy data visualizations as well.

Nowadays, the traditional bar chart or pie graph is a thing of the past. Even mind maps, concept maps and other traditional graphs or mapping systems are just the tip of the iceberg. Data visualizations are now elegant and extraordinary, so much so that you may be inclined to hang them as art once you’re done analyzing the data.


October 16, 2012

We got in touch with Cathy Deagle Gammon, Executive Director of Dartmouth Adult Services Centre in Dartmouth Nova Scotia to learn about how she used Demonstrating Value principles in a 15 minute presentation and raised $25,000!

DV: Can you talk a bit about Dartmouth Adult Services Centre?

Cathy Deagle Gammon:
DASC is a DASC logonon-profit vocational day program for persons with an intellectual disability. We provide services for people that range all the way from personal supports to employment supports.

DV: How did DASC first become involved with Demonstrating Value?

At a conference for social enterprises. I...

October 11, 2012

Last week from October 1 – 4 San Francisco was host to Social Capital Markets 2012 (SOCAP12), an annual conference that connects global innovators, investors, foundations, institutions and social entrepreneurs in a discussion about directing the power and efficiency of market systems towards creating social good. 

This year, impact investing, crowdfunding and issues facing young social enterprises were all hot topics. While you may not have been able to partake in the conference, you can still find out what was discussed, as SOCAP has shared all the presentations and panel discussions online.

We’ve been watching the presentations, and one in particular caught our eye:...

October 2, 2012

Whatever you’re into, whether it’s sports, celebrities or the latest in impact measurement and evaluation, Twitter is the place to go for the up-to-date news and information. But sometimes sifting through the endless sea of “tweeters” in search of those posting truly thoughtful and innovative content can be overwhelming.

We keep a close eye on Twitter. On our feed - @demvalue - we like to share content about social enterprise, dashboard know-how, and impact measurement and evaluation. But we're not the only ones tweeting on these topics. We analyzed the people and organizations we follow and pulled out the ones who are really sharing interesting content. Take a look at our top picks!


September 25, 2012

event signageYesterday evening Vancity Community Foundation and SAP co-hosted a special event to share advice about creating performance snapshots. With over 50 guests in attendance at the SAP Executive Briefing Centre, the event was a huge success. For those of you who missed out, here’s some highlights and useful recommendations that were shared yesterday evening.

We invited representatives from three social enterprises to speak on their performance snapshots. First was Gretchen Jordan Bastow and Amit Arora from Mama’s Wall Street Studio. Next was Graham Anderson and external consultant Susan Chambers from Shift Urban Cargo Delivery and lastly,...

September 7, 2012

We hate to see it go, but summer is quickly drawing to a close. While many people are busy wrapping up summer vacation plans and preparing for fall, we’re busy wrapping up another phase in a special pilot project here at Demonstrating Value: the Farmers’ Market Impact Toolkit.

For the past three months, MBA candidate Annie Lambla has been working with Demonstrating Value to build a toolkit that will specifically address the performance management needs of farmers’ markets. The project is a collaboration between Demonstrating Value, Vancity Community Foundation and the B.C. Association of...

August 30, 2012

There are major benefits to expressing the monetary value of your social enterprise activities. This is especially true when communicating with an audience focused on the financial bottom line of an investment. Increased credibility for your enterprise and improved communication with your investors – not to mention the potential to attract new investors – are just a few of these benefits. However, there are also some roadblocks that can happen along the way.

In part three of our series, we’re investigating these roadblocks, and helping you determine whether pursuing a monetary analysis is right for your enterprise.

What are the Benefits of Monetizing Value?

Assistance from investors is often financial, therefore expressing the...

August 23, 2012

Expressing value in numerical terms is a direct and concise way to describe value. Quantitative figures can compliment your description of the value of your enterprise, and are especially useful when communicating with investors or other stakeholders who like to know the facts.

Last week we talked about describing organizational information to express value. Today, we’re taking a closer look at quantifying information and using quantitative indicators to analyze and express your organizational value.

Defining and Reporting on Quantitative Indicators

The best way to collect quantitative data is by determining quantitative indicators. These indicators are your tool to collecting factual, measurable data about the value of your social enterprise...

August 16, 2012

It’s a necessity for organizations to have the know-how to properly articulate organizational value. For your social enterprise, this means showing accountability to investors by demonstrating the value of your work and the resulting impact on the community. Do this properly, and it can lead to a dramatic increase in the level of support for your social enterprise. The difficulty is, however, that social enterprises often find it challenging to express social benefits in a clear and compelling way.

There are various approaches you can take to ensure you’re successful in expressing your value to others. In this three-part series, we’re examining three methods you can rely on when demonstrating your organizational value: describing value, quantifying value...