Demonstrating Value Blog
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...read more
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-...read more
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...read more
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.
Welcome speech by Robert Beaudry, executive...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...read more
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...
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...read more
The Social Enterprise Institute (SEI) provides short, on-demand eLearning on a variety of topics that address planning and operational needs of new and mature social enterprises alike. This includes aspects of planning, marketing, pricing, operation and more. Courses have clear learning objectives which are developed through practical activities, and each course is a great gateways for learning with clear direction on where to learn more. Five measurement courses, developed by Bryn Sadownik, have now been added to the Institute's website.
Measuring Business Performance
The starting point for every social enterprise in measurement is usually the financials: to set up an accounting system to track money in and money out. But extending measurement beyond this to include other aspects of business performance and organizational sustainability, can help you to uncover the...read more