Rooted in Community
A grassroots initiative, Demonstrating Value is designed to assist those working in community - social enterprises, non-profit and public programs, social ventures, community investors, - to track and express their success. Originally built around the specific needs of social enterprise, Demonstrating Value's tools, resources and research is relevant to anyone interested in social change and innovation.
A Brief History of Demonstrating Value
The Demonstrating Value Initiative began as an informal exploration of the impact assessment needs and practices of a number of Vancouver-based social enterprises. In 2005, this developed into a more formal exploration of the challenges and solutions led by a community-based management committee based at the Potluck Cafe, with funding support from by Enterprising Non Profits.
Because no existing method or framework was found to be directly useful, a more formal project was launched in late 2006, in which over 20 social enterprise and investors participated in a two year process to define and pilot a framework and tools. This project, known as the Demonstrating Value Initiative, was led by Vancity Community Foundation with funding and in-kind support from:
- Vancity Credit Union
- Vancity Community Foundation
- SAP Canada
- Enterprising Non-Profits (enp)
- Coast Capital Savings
- Community Economic Development Technical Assistance Program
- Employment and Social Development Canada (formerly HRSDC)
- Renewal Partners
Since the launch of the framework and tools in 2009, Demonstrating Value has quickly gained momentum since its beginnings and now offers a comprehensive collection of tools and resources that is usuful to not only social enterprises, but many types of community-based organizations and programs.
In 2013, a non-profit society - the Demonstrating Value Resource Society - was set up to to extend the work of the Demonstrating Value Initiative.
For more information on the original research project that developed Demonstrating Value, click here.
DV and other Impact Measurement Initiatives in Canada
Demonstrating Value is part of an evolving landscape of intiatives that are advancing methods for evaluation and impact measurement in Canada and internationally. DV complements methods that seek to go more deeply into social impact measurement, for instance that aim to unify practices and indicators, and those that monetize results. Our focus has been in creating a starting point for many community-based organization to measure what matters, tell their story and demonstrate their value in a meaningful way. Measurement needs are viewed holistically, recognizing that business, organizational and impact measures all create a picture of value. We support the principles of the Montreal Declaration on Evaluation and Social Impact Measurement, which we signed onto in April 2019 . We also endorse the work of the Common Approach to Impact Measurement, based at Carleton University that is convening stakeholders and defining essential practices, flexible indicator standards and a community-owned enabling infrastructure that would make it easier for social enterprises to manage data and learn from each other.
There’s a great group of people behind the scenes at Demonstrating Value.
Our current Board of Directors:
- Bryn Sadownik, Program Manager, Evaluation and Community Impact, Vancity Community Foundation
- Joanne Norris, Project Manager, Futurepreneur
- Garth Yule, Engagement Manager, Junxion Strategy
- Irene Gannitsos, Manager, Strategic Programs, Vancity Communitiy Foundation
Other people whose work has greatly contributed to Demonstrating Value include Steve Williams, Thomas Bergbusch, Claudia Bierth, Sarah Cruickshank, Andrea di Lucca, Irene Gannitsos, Annie Lambla, Elizabeth Lougheed Green, and Julie Poznanski.
If you are interested in applying Demonstrating Value tools and in advancing this approach to measurement, we'd love to hear from you. Contact us!