|Issues & Ideas
Five keys to impact measurement for social innovation
Social change leaders hit the ground running: challenges come up, forks in the road present themselves, and their business models constantly evolve. Ideally, they have some good data on hand that can help with tough decisions, and that provide insights about social, environmental and financial bottom line. The problem with many impact measurement efforts is that organizations get stuck tracking easy-to-measure indicators that aren’t fundamentally important to the emerging work, and don’t ultimately support decisions on the ground. Information that could be more beneficial is not tracked, and processes to learn (and potentially share) about what works, and doesn’t can be lost...
The Technical Corner
Understanding financial success: three questions for social enterprises
Keeping an eye on the right financial metrics can allow you to respond to issues before they spin out of control. Financial performance is a key part of the Demonstrating Value Framework. Three key financial questions:
1. Are you profitable? What does this mean for social enterprise?
2. What is driving your revenues and costs? Set up financial statements to maximize your insights and to support decision-making and budgeting.
3. Do you have enough cash? Having enough cash when you need it is a big concern for small business and social enterprise alike.
DV Resource Highlight
Showing the value of green building and community design
If you're in the business of green building or promoting sustainable building and communities, check out our new guide that has recently been added to Demonstrating Value's Resource Library. In it you'll find guidance on approaches to monitoring and assessing the mission-related impacts of green building and community design.
Rather than present a list of indicators, we present different methodologies for assessing impact that can be applied to different types of projects (and budgets!) Approaches to measurement in this area include using tools to assess the impact of alternative design practices, assessing whether there is a change in practice, and assessing the impact of the change in practice on the use of materials, water and energy, and ultimately environmental systems. Read more.
Tools Out There
Cool smart phone apps for demonstrating value
It’s not all about the games. The advent of smart phones and tablets can simplify the collection and analysis of data, as well as powerfully capture narrative, in ways we only could imagine until recently. The number of apps available grows daily and it can be hard to know what is even possible to do. Here are a few apps that showcase the range of what apps can do in this area including tracking indicators for reporting, surveying on the move, and digitizing documents to PDF with your camera.