The Value Herald, Issue 5 (Winter 2013)


It’s a new year, and that means renewed motivation to do good and create positive social change!   The last few months have been exciting for Demonstrating Value. In November, you may have seen us in the tradeshow at the Social Impact Purchasing Summit, hosted by enp. In December, we were featured in SEE Change Magazine, and in January, we were published as a chapter contributor in the new book 'Accounting for Social Value ' (edited by Laurie Mook, University of Toronto Press).


In This Issue

The Value Herald shares thoughts, insights and conversations from our blog. In this issue...

  • Issues & Ideas: Read up on whether target-setting is a help or hindrance.
  • The Technical Corner : Find out how Dartmouth Adult Services Centre used Demonstrating Value principles to raise $25,000 in 15 minutes.
  • DV Resource and Tool Highlight: SROI and DV, how do they compare?
  • Tools Out There: Find out about the recent NPC study on impact measurement for charities and other interesting articles on impact measurement and evaluation.

Don’t forget to browse through Upcoming Events for exciting opportunities to learn and network throughout the Vancouver community. And as always, we love to hear your thoughts on Demonstrating Value and social enterprise measurement and evaluation!

Issues & Ideas

Is Your Target Way Off Target?  Tips for Setting Meaningful Performance Targets

Measurement and target-setting often go hand in hand.  They don’t have to.  In my work with social enterprises and investors, I find there is a mysterious hurry to set performance targets.  Targets can be a useful tool to foster learning and inspire performance, but too often they are set prematurely, in haste, and aren’t necessarily meaningful to those that define them.

On the plus side, targets:

  • can be inspiring and focus an organization towards a common goal;
  • are a tool for learning about progress, and can be a jumping off point for discussing what works and doesn’t;
  • can be a useful link between strategy and day-to day operations.

On the negative side, targets:

  • that are irrational may demoralize;
  • may too narrowly defines success in an organization. As a famous physicist once said, “Many of the things you can count, don't count. Many of the things you can't count really count.” (Albert Einstein).
  • may be set without any sense of what is achievable.

Read more

The Technical Corner

DV user Cathy Deagle Gammon shares her story

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: How did DASC first become involved with Demonstrating Value?


At a conference for social enterprises. I sat in on a presentation from Michele Cherot of The Right Stuff in Trail, BC. Listening to Michele I felt really engaged, and thought Demonstrating Value was something that would really benefit us.


DV: How does the DASC use Demonstrating Value?


We’re right in the middle of a capital campaign, so we haven’t created a performance snapshot just yet, but we did use Demonstrating Value principles to help us communicate our impact in a 15 minute presentation to receive $25,000 in funding - and we did it! Read more 

DV Resource & Tool Highlight

SROI and Demonstrating Value: How can both frameworks provide a deeper understanding of social impact?

There’s added value in using multiple frameworks when completing an impact evaluation. SROI – an evaluation framework growing in popularity – expresses value in monetized terms, and is one such framework that can be used in conjunction with Demonstrating Value.


We sat down with Simon Anderson, senior SROI analyst with Social Asset Measurements and Garth Yule, manager of evaluation and community impact with Vancity Community Foundation to find out how Demonstrating Value and SROI can work together to provide a deeper understanding of social impact.


What’s the value of using Demonstrating Value or SROI? Is there added value in using both frameworks together?


SA:The value of using SROI is that it provides a set framework for measuring the social impact of an organization. The processes involved, and the end result, enables organizations to demonstrate, in monetized terms, the value created by the organization. As a result, a benefit-cost ratio can be calculated which can be used for internal management and external reporting purposes. Read more

Tools Out There

What’s Going On With Impact Measurement in the Non-Profit Sector?

That’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 assignment: Making an Impact. Released October 16, this 73 page document outlines the findings – the pleasant surprises and troubling challenges that are facing 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 same trends are taking place here in Canada too. Read more


Ear to the ground: impact measurement and evaluation online

These days, it’s not hard to find information online. Run a Google search – no matter how obscure – and you can instantly gain access to websites, magazines, newspapers and blogs dedicated to your topic. However, the difficulty then lies in sifting through the search results for quality content that’s current and relevant to your needs.

At Demonstrating Value, we keep a close eye on everything said in online discussions about social impact measurement and evaluation. Whether it’s for a social enterprise, non-profit or any other type of organization, we want to know! So, We’ve put together a list of 5 five relevant recent and noteworthy articles we’ve found that further the conversation of impact measurement and evaluation. Don’t forget to keep an eye on our Twitter feed for interesting articles as well! Read more.

Upcoming Events

February 15, 2013

Smart Data Visualization
In this 90-minute webinar by Stephanie Evergreen, you will learn the research-based best practices that inform smart data visualization.
For more information and to register (


February 28, 2013

Social Finance Connects: Social Impact Measurement Use Among Canadian Impact Investors
This MaRS sponsored webinar will feature findings from a new report on impact measurement practices among Canadian impact investors.
For more information and to register (


March 13 & 14, 2013
(Workshop, Vancouver)

Performance Measurement and Reporting in First Nations
This workshop by AFOA will introduce the Aboriginal Performance Wheel and take participants through the core principle of performance reporting in First Nation environments.
For more information and to register  (


March 13 & 14, 2013
(Conference, Vancouver)

Propelling Social Ventures
Conference sponsored by the Coast Captial Savings Innovation Hub (at ISIS UBC) to bring together social entrepreneurs, the business community and social innovators.
For more information and to register (


March 27, 2013
(Event, Vancouver, B.C.)

Social Enterprise Heroes / Day of Learning
Interactive sessions (risk management, financials and strategy); policy update; trade show; networking; business challenge pitches
For more information and to register  (