Demonstrating Value Blog

March 11, 2020

The Common Appoach to Impact Measurment, an initiative led by Carleton University's Centre for Community Innovation is convening a community of non profits, social purpose organizations (SPOs), grant makers, investors and academics to build a better way to measure social impact.  The initiative is profiled in this blog posting last  summer. 


The Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) is hosting a free webinar on March 12 at 1:00 pm (Eastern Daylight Time) to introduce the Common Approach. In this webinar, they will explore how the Common Foundations were derived and how they can help evaluators, consultants, and trainers guide organizations to improved impact measurement.  You can also find out more about a...

August 1, 2019

This blog is the third in a series that highlights collaborative projects in Canada that have sought to make sense of impact measurement for social enterprises and other community-based organizations, and to advance new tools and common methods. 



Mission. Model. Measure. is a new web guide developed through the Social Enterprise Ecosystem (S4ES) project, which is a partnership between the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, the Chantier de l'économie sociale, Buy...

July 31, 2019

This blog is the second of a series which highlights collaborative projects in Canada that have sought to make sense of impact measurement for social enterprises and other community-based organizations, and to advance new tools and common methods. 

The Common Approach to Impact Measurement is a community of non profits, social enterprises, grant makers, investors and academics “building a better way to measure social impact.” It emerged from Ontario’s Social Enterprise Strategy 2016-2021 that led to the creation of an Impact Measurement Task Force. The task force resulted in a report which recommended a ‘common approach’ to impact measurement that is intended to provide a foundation for sector-...

July 31, 2019

In recent years, many new initiatives have been launched in Canada that have sought to make sense of impact measurement for social enterprises and other community-based organizations, and to advance new tools and common methods.  In a series of blogs, we highlight collaborative projects in Quebec, Ontario and as part of a national partnership to strengthen the social enterprise 'ecosystem'.



The first blog is about a project that has been underway since 2016 that is led by TIESS (Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire), which is an umbrella group in Quebec that supports the social economy through the sharing and dissemination of knowledge, practices, experience and research. The project is named Evaluation and Impact Measurement in the Social Economy (Évaluation et mesure d’impact en économie...

March 12, 2019

TIESS (L'organisme Territoires innovants en économie sociale et solidaire) is organizing a one-day forum to discuss impact measurement practices, as well as its challenges and opportunities. Several international initiatives and viewpoints will be presented in order to bring out points of convergence around which we can mobilize.  The event also includes and unveiling of the Quebec Declaration on Evaluation and Social Impact Measurement.


To learn more about TIESS's work on evaluation and social impact measurement of the social economy, click here (in French only).

For more information and tickets, click here.


Preliminary program


Welcome speech by Robert Beaudry, executive...

September 20, 2018

The starting point for most social enterprises in measurement is to set up a bookkeeping system to track money in and money out.  While financial bookkeeping and accounting are fundamental to running a business, it may also be useful to track other aspects of business performance early on to be able to make good operational and planning decisions.


So if you're increasing profits, it can be useful to understand: What led to that? How you can do more of that? What decisions led to the improvement: targeted sales, marketing campaign, staff hire, new equipment investment (among other things)? Having a picture of the critical factors driving success, can help inform wise future investment decisions.Just looking at profit won't reveal this. 


Another reason for measuring other aspects of business performance is to motivate good performance. For some people within an enterprise, the overall financial picture might not be relevant, or it may not be clear how they...

November 21, 2017

Being able to collect data is a key part of performance and impact measurement. (Collecting the right data, and using is effectively are the other parts).  Like maitaining a building or car, streamlining, systematizing and maitaining data can save you a lot of time and money.


How would you rate your data collection?  


Use a scale of 1 to 5, where 1 is strongly disagree, and 5 is strongly agree. Rate yourself on the following 7 questions:


1. It...

May 4, 2017

After a certain point, and perhaps dozens and even hundreds of versions of spreadsheets, there comes a time to contemplate whether there is an easier way to track data.   You know that countless hours can be spent finding and making sense of data when it comes time for planning, budgeting, and in even day to day activities like sales.   But it can be hard to understand the full costs involved in acquiring software and how they relate to your ability to save staff time (and put it to other uses), as well as improving your relationships that ultimately relate to you bottom line(s). 


Demonstrating Value has developed and posted...

May 3, 2017

If you've learned about Snapshots and want to design one yourself, here are some  design tips, borrowed from graphic designers, that will help you design a snapshot that is effective visually, and which will easily capture and hold the attention of others.  


1. Keep it simple and uncluttered. 

2. Limit your colour choices.  Use colours that ‘go together’ (colour harmony).   Pick colour scheme based on your logo, or a key photo in the snapshot.  (see below)

3. Limit the number of...

May 3, 2017

Earlier this year, I was invited to lecture about impact measurement for a number of different social enterprise-related classes, both as part of academic programs and incubators.   While I mostly stayed fairly practical, 'academic-lite', I thought it would be useful to give an overview of what the field of impact measurement looks like and the options and tools out there.


I've frequently come across the statement that there can be a bewildering array of tools that makes impact measurement challenging to access and apply.  I would agree that it can seem confusing.  At a basic level though, they all identify, collect and use/show data that indicate that social value is created. They just differ in how deeply they go into the mechanics of how social impact occurs and finding evidence of...