In the space of weeks, countless community-based organizations have had to shift what they are doing while being faced with reduced staff hours, fewer volunteers, disruptions to revenue, social distancing restrictions and other constraints. Yet the demand and need for many services that non-profits and social enterprises deliver are high. New needs are emerging, and many programs are being introduced. Across the community – in h
Issues & Ideas
By planning your intended change, you’re breaking down the big, awesome visionary change that is very challenging to measure, into more immediate and visible steps. In this way, impact measurement is more possible and useful. It’s also about breaking out what you can influence and then making the link between that and the bolder, systems-level change that you seek.
A goal of impact measurement is to be able to clearly identify and measure the net, positive effects that result directly from the activities of an initiative, program or social enterprise. This could make it clearer for impact investors about what they invest in, what strategies and models are most effective, and how to replicate and scale what matters.
The starting point for most social enterprises in measurement is to set up a bookkeeping system to track money in and money out. While financial bookkeeping and accounting are fundamental to running a business, it may also be useful to track other aspects of business performance early on to be able to make good operational and planning decisions.
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.
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
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:
We take a break from 'Demonstrating Value' to think about 'Creating Value', and specifically how we can create more value from our activities during the holiday season. Here are five ideas:
1. Increase your impact when you give