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Ready to Start Measuring Your Nonprofit’s Social Impact? Here’s How
2.5 min to read ✭ We're sharing some tips on how to begin measuring your nonprofit's social impact! In this post, you will learn what your organization's impact measurement will look like and where to start.
Let’s start by addressing the elephant in the room. Measuring your impact is not easy and does require resources to produce a quality report. However, there are tactics you could deploy to get the ball rolling within your organization. Let’s explore some simple beginner steps that you could start taking today to outlining your organization’s impact!
The Market Is Calling for Your Mission to Stand Apart
Nonprofits are in a saturated market and often times struggle to demand the unique brand awareness that sets their mission apart from the pack. We have discovered that in order to powerfully make your organization seen, it is important to measure and understand your organization’s impact. In today’s data-driven society, people are demanding tactical information about what your cause is doing to solve key issues the world faces. The generational shift is naturally calling upon organizations to prove how their contribution will ultimately contribute to your mission. And thus, it is important to make sure your nonprofit’s impact is clear and unforgettable. This can be done by delivering key results and measuring your impact.
Why Do You Want to Measure Your Nonprofit’s Impact?
It’s important to first and foremost ask yourself, “Why do I want to measure my organization’s impact?”
Do you want to prove to donors your organization is scaling the social sector? Do you want to acquire more grants? Will measuring impact help to grow your program engagement?
Whatever your organization’s “why” may be, it is important to reflect inwards to understand what your impact measurement is directed towards. This will place the lens of your focus on how your organization is going to measure your impact. For example, it will help you to further understand whether or not you are going to measure the impact of your programs or the impact of your efficiency as an organization as a whole.
Why you want to measure your nonprofit’s impact will help your organization establish how you will do so and what metrics to focus on.
Identify Your Organizational Drivers First
After you have discovered your intentions, the next phase is to establish your nonprofit’s Theory of Change. This methodology will help clarify your team’s priorities by defining your organization’s long-term goals and mapping our the path to reach them.
Nonprofit organizations often take the route most traveled, which is to start by creating activities with a strategy in place to solve problems and support an intended outcome. However, this sequence should be flipped. A more ideal way to look at it would be to identify your core problem, and then what the outcome would be if you were to solve that problem and create strategies around that then define activities to reach them. By defining what activities and strategies you will utilize in response to your desired outcome, you are optimizing your ability to achieve your mission and ultimately make your reason for existing OBSOLETE.
Set Benchmarks & Know What Success Looks Like
Defining your nonprofit’s theory of change will expose the necessary core metrics to measure your nonprofit’s achievements and impact. After doing so, your organization will have a better sense of what metrics you should be looking for and how to measure them.
It is important to stay as simple as possible without getting caught up in the thousands of variations that can relate to just one metric. Stay organized and don’t over-complicate it.
At this point, you will want to set benchmarking goals of what success looks like for your organization. This will indicate how your organization compares to similar organizations in the sector., Make sure along the way to continue tracking your metrics over time to measure change and growth. You can do so by flagging your nonprofit’s inputs, outputs, outcomes, activities, and lastly, programs’ effects.
While this process can be quite lengthy to start, measuring your nonprofit’s impact is valuable to know how effective your organization is at accomplishing it’s intended mission. Sharing your impact can encourage people to contribute to your nonprofit’s mission. You can always start today! Feel free to reach out for any guidance or support.