There is a lot of discussion about the need and challenges of measuring impact. There is also a lot out there about good and bad ways of measuring business performance. But these two facets alone don’t give a complete picture of the value of an organization and its work. Measuring organizational sustainability does.
Numbers do not speak for themselves. They need help. It often seems that the journey to develop a number can be so long that by the time we have finally defined, collected and analyzed an indicator, we often just release them into space with little regard to context and narrative to help others understand their meaning.
A new project is underway that will investigate the collective impacts of social enterprises in Vancouver that are providing employment and training opportunities for people who are marginalized. Demonstrating Value's Community Partner, the Vancity Community Foundation, is leading the project with funding support from Central City Foundation, Vancity Savings Credit Union, and the Vancouver Foundation..
The project seeks to:
I recently came across McKinsey and Company's Learning Driven Assessment Workbook that is based on a great framework for focusing evaluation to meet the needs of different types of programs at different times. The workbook is a simple on-line tool that is geared to the needs of foundations and investors, and results in an Assessment Plan for measuring social impact.