MEASURE for Impact


Successful non-profits don’t beg for money — they prove social ROI. No emotional appeals… just concise, comprehensive, tangible value delivered.

With a rise in social entrepreneurship across all sectors, the bar is higher for what constitutes profitability. Measuring the return on investment (ROI) is not enough. Measuring outputs is not enough. If we are really going to drive social change with our time, talents and resources, we have to track, quantify and share the Social ROI.  Do you have a hard time explaining to people what social impact is, how it comes about, and how to quantify it?

It is not rocket science.

Many see social impact data collection as a burden, something they just have to do to satisfy reporting requirements. But when we reframe the conversation so that its about end-beneficiary, your mission, and unlocking investment and social value, notions of burden begin to recede. Obligation transforms into opportunity.

Do you ask?

What’s the difference between a program output and an outcome?  

What is a social impact indicator? How do I measure them? 

How do I identify indicators that are SMART?

How do I set up a monitoring and evaluation plan to track outputs, outcomes and social impact? 

Does  information already exist that I can use?

How will having this information enhance the value of our social venture?

Key Outcomes:

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Plan:

  • timelines and measures for tracking and reporting outputs, outcomes and social impact
  • sources for data collection and responsible staff
  • Mechanisms for lessons learned to redefine ongoing programming
  • target audiences for disseminating respective data

Social Impact Compass:

  • gauge an organization’s impact using one’s own assessment of its performance on six dimensions (value to society, efficacy, impact magnitude, scalability, mission alignment, environmental and social governance).



Strategy Mapping

The finalized strategy map is the launching point for SMART measures, defining program outputs, overarching outcomes and progress toward strategic impact. (Strategy Map tool)

Social Impact Compass

Prioritize your organization’s programs, determine where to invest philanthropic assets, better analyze new venture opportunties, and figure out your next move. (SSIR Impact Compass)

Data Collection Resources

Social impact indicators are often collected by sector or region that demonstrate impact from your programming. In addition, strong measures must be tracked that are specific, measurable, attainable/achievable, relevant and timely. (SMART indicators) 

Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) Plan

The MEL Plan outlines ongoing data collection and reporting timelines. The lessons learned will enhance the success of your program.

Create The Currency Of Social Impact. Get in touch.

Elizabeth Stephens

Results-driven management specialist. Strategic leader.

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