Demonstrating Value offers simple management solutions that enable you to use information and data more effectively to run your organization, plan for the future and show your value to the community. Demonstrating Value combines performance monitoring with social impact evaluation in a compact and powerful communication tool.


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How often do you hear politicians in the media talk about the needs of taxpayers?  Too often argues Daphne Bramham, in an editorial I read in Monday’s  Vancouver Sun, “We need citizens, not just taxpayers  and bookeepers.”  Bramham traces the deliberate replacement of citizen with taxpayer, which began in the 1980s with the American anti-tax movement that has since spread to Canada.  Along with that change, she says that politicians began talking more about how much governments spend, and less about the wide range of services that money provides — including health care, courts, policing, environmental protection, roads, transit, funding for the arts, and education.

This article struck a chord because too often I find there is pressure to frame the value of community-based programs in terms of whether it can save taxpayers money.  Will a program...

There is a lot of discussion about the need and challenges of measuring impact.  There is also a lot out there about good and bad ways of measuring business performance.  But these two facets alone don’t give a complete picture of the value of an organization and its work.  Measuring organizational sustainability does.

This may be more important than you think. Back in 2008, I convened a workshop of people from organizations that invest in social enterprise in Canada (as part of the research that led to Demonstrating Value).  To kick start a good discussion about what is important to measure, we conducted a survey prior to the workshop that asked investors to rank criteria they use to guide their...

Numbers do not speak for themselves.  They need help.  It often seems that the journey to develop a number can be so long that by the time we have finally defined, collected and analyzed an indicator, we often just release them into space with little regard to context and narrative to help others understand their meaning.  



Take this figure for instance:  It cost 2.3 billion dollars to run federal prisons in Canada in 2012.  I know billions is a lot, but what does it really mean?  Is this more or less than last year?  How is this relative to other places?  

The Toronto Sun gives more help along with a little spin to make the taxpayer wake up and take note: “Canadians taxpayers dished out an average of $113,974 to lodge an inmate in a federal prison last year - a 30% increase from four years...

A new project is underway that will investigate the collective impacts of social enterprises in Vancouver that are providing employment and training opportunities for people who are marginalized.  Demonstrating Value's Community Partner, the Vancity Community Foundation, is leading the project with funding support from Central City Foundation, Vancity Savings Credit Union, and the Vancouver Foundation..

The project seeks to:

  • gather evidence about health and community development outcomes;
  • develop a monetized estimate of impact; and
  • develop insights into how social enterprises can enhance/and scale their impact.

A goal of this project is to increase legitimacy and policy support for social enterprise as a tool for community development.

This project will employ mixed research methods to investigate impact with the objective of bridging shared measurement methods in evaluation that...

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