Let's experiment. Do a google search for charities and philanthropic organizations. You may try by region or cause or any other factor you would like. Do at least ten names come up? This should not be surprising. In today's world, like all other industries, philanthropy is growing at a fast pace too. For every cause, there is a dedicated organization or a team within a big organization working on it already. When there is no lack of options, be it about my shoes, UberEATS restaurants, or the charities for a cause, how does a potential donor know which organization to pick? And, how do I – someone who is representing the work of a Nonprofit – talk about my organization's work and worth? This little post takes a stab at answering this question and offers a free tool (link available below) that can form a foundation around this critical topic in your mind.
Impact Measurement – a topic that many organizations are trying to dig into these days. Some governments across the world are starting a dedicated fund for research on this subject. It is this very keyword, 'Impact Measurement,' that answers the question above. When it comes to measuring impact, most organizations often get restricted to financial impact or any form of tangible impact. The problem of measuring such tangible impact is – its easy to measure but it does not create a complete picture – especially for Nonprofits. A Nonprofit doesn't only impact the parties their mission talks about, e.g., homeless or animals or nature. Prosocial behavior or the giving to social causes also affect donors. So, the idea of Impact Measurement should be a well-rounded impact study that measures:
- effectiveness of the the components of your mission,
- well-being of your staff and volunteers, and,
- impact of giving on the happiness of your donors.
The good news is – most organizations track a lot of things already. The key to measuring that impact is to determine what's worth going into that impact study.
We offer a free tool that aims to help you with this challenge. It gives the prosocial metrics you should track, depending on your sector (e.g., health care, human service, etc.) This tool is based on social impact research and happiness measurements around the world. This tool will update as the analyses around social impact solidify. Use the information here to develop relevant processes and collect the needed data if it does not exist already.
And, yes, don't forget to send a message if you need a brainstorming session to talk more about this.