Your organization is making a difference in the world. You have great ideas and programs and are confident that you are doing good. You’re excited about being able to visualize the impact because it will help you grow and make a more meaningful difference in your community.
As a nonprofit or social enterprise, you may be wondering how to measure your social impact. In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of measuring impact and why it’s essential for nonprofits to understand their results to improve their programs and services.
Too many organizations are stuck trying to measure their social impact.
The truth is that impact measurement can become highly challenging and confusing, leaving practitioners feeling rejected and unsure of how to progress. Additionally, funders and stakeholders demand impact data and expect you to provide them with compelling evidence for your programs and services.
But how do you measure that impact? How do you show your funders and stakeholders what you are doing? And how do you share this information with people who aren’t even familiar with your program?
This is where impact measurement comes in. Impact measurement is a process that allows you to demonstrate how your program or service made an impact on the people it serves and their communities. It’s not about getting funding or earning awards—it’s about improving lives.
Why is impact measurement so hard…?
Because it’s not just about numbers, it’s about making sure your work makes a difference in the lives of others. For example, if you’re measuring the impact of a mentoring program, you might ask questions like: How many participants were able to find jobs? How many experienced positive changes in their self-esteem and confidence? And how did these changes influence other aspects of their lives? You could also measure the impact on society by looking at crime rates or unemployment rates for people who have participated in your program.
Why do organizations struggle to measure their impact?
There are many reasons why organizations struggle to measure their impact. The first is that measuring impact can be time-consuming and expensive. Many nonprofits have limited resources, so they may be unable to invest in measuring their work’s impact. The second reason is that many nonprofits don’t know where to start when it comes to measuring their work’s effectiveness.
Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered.
At Social Impact Solutions, we believe every organization deserves to know its impact. We have created a service that will give you everything you need to prove your value and market your impact. Our team of nonprofit consultants, public health experts, and fundraisers knows precisely what you need to do to measure and market your impact.
The good news is there are several ways to measure your organization’s impact. Here are some of the most common methods:
Surveys are a popular tool for measuring impact because they’re easy and relatively inexpensive. You can use them to collect data on how your work has positively impacted people’s lives and measure how long that effect lasts over time.
You may ask yourself, “How do I know if my surveys are effective?” This is where we come in! We have a team of expert survey designers who can help you design an impact survey that will provide you with actionable results. This is what we do: We provide nonprofit organizations with the tools, support, and resources they need to measure their impact.
2. Outside Research
The second way to measure your impact is to conduct outside research.
We have a team of social impact consultants and public health experts who will analyze the prevailing trends in your industry to help you quantify the change you are making in your stakeholders’ lives. Outside research is a critical component of our impact measurement service and one that too many organizations neglect.
Over time, we noticed that some organizations exclusively measured their social impact by conducting internal surveys or focus groups. While these methods can be helpful, they don’t tell the whole story because they only measure a small slice of what’s happening in your organization.
For example, internal surveys can give insight into how satisfied your customers are with their experience. Still, they won’t tell you if the product or service was actually helpful for them.
That’s where our outside research comes in! Our team of nonprofit consultants and public health experts will conduct extensive interviews with customers and stakeholders to understand their attitudes and behaviors towards your organization or product/service before and after exposure to it (if applicable). We’ll also interview employees to know how working for or buying from your organization impacts their lives.
Our comprehensive Impact Measurement & Evaluation Service includes a needs assessment and strategic planning process, social impact data collection, analysis, and dashboard reporting of results.
3. Process Improvement
Too many organizations are stuck using old systems that are holding their team back.
Imagine a world where you could go to your computer, open up a dashboard and see your organization’s impact in real-time.
You’d know exactly how many people were helped and how many were not. You’d be able to track progress over time and measure whether or not your initiatives are actually making a difference.
And this isn’t just some far-off dream—it’s possible today! But only if you have the right tools.
Too many organizations are stuck using old systems that are holding their team back. Measuring your social impact is impossible when your systems and processes are antiquated. Your team will get bogged down trying to keep up with outdated technology, leaving them with little time for anything else but keeping the lights on.
Our nonprofit consulting division will help you digitize your processes so you can have real-time information on how your organization is making a measurable difference in the lives of the people you serve. We’ll work with you from start to finish, helping you identify where improvements need to be made, then building out new systems that will allow all your staff members—not just IT managers—to access critical data whenever needed.
Turn data into donations!
You’re doing great things.
You have all the data to prove it. You know how many people you’ve helped and have the numbers to back up your impact. But now what? How can you turn data into donations if you want to raise more money?
That’s where our nonprofit consultants, fundraisers, and marketers come in. We’re here to help you translate your impact data into fundraising collateral that will get donors excited about your mission—and inspired to give!
Our process is simple: we’ll take your data and put it into a compelling story so that whenever someone sees your infographic or reads a fact sheet, they’ll be reminded of why they should give. We’ll even provide sample content so you know what we’re talking about before we begin working together!
Putting it all together
We often remind our nonprofit clients that running a nonprofit is significantly more challenging than any other type of business.
There are 10x the responsibilities, stakeholders, and expectations with a fraction of the resources.
We believe in putting the power back in the hands of nonprofit leaders so they can advance their missions, inspire their teams, and multiply their donor base with invaluable impact data. We hope you have found this blog helpful. If you have questions about how to start measuring and marketing your impact today, don’t hesitate to schedule a free call with one of our social impact consultants using this link.