Impact measurement – it’s been trending in the social impact circles for some time now. Many thought it’s a fad, which people will forget about in some time. The truth, however, is that like it or not, it’s here to stay, and it’s going to become more & more important with time.
If you work in a mission-driven organization, and it does not matter if that’s an NGO or a social enterprise or a for-profit private organization, you need to start adopting impact measurement & management (IMM) for your projects or interventions.
Find out how adopting Impact Measurement & Management can make your interventions more successful.
We have been doing research on this topic for almost two years with donors, charity organizations, NGOs & corporate sector. Studying different interventions, & practicing IMM with our clients has shown us that how the success of their interventions increased by implementing Impact Measurement and Management. Initially, IMM was seen as an accountability tool, but it has evolved to be so much more than that!
If you are still not convinced, here are 7 points that should show the benefits of implementing impact measurement and management.
- In principle, Impact Measurement and Management is a framework or a tool that helps you to design interventions/projects in a way that helps you increase the positive effect. That’s one of the main purposes of Impact Measurement & Management practices. Everything you would do to implement Impact Measurement & Management has one target: to increase your positive effects & decrease negative effects. Actually two targets! Its iterative nature allows you to keep on evaluating different ways in which you can increase your positive effects.
- Impact measurement gives you access to the kind of data about your interventions, which will help you make informed decisions and adopt critical thinking strategies. Even UN general secretary Ban Ki-Moon has many times stressed on the need for a data revolution. As decision-makers & as people who design interventions to help the people & planet, you will realize that reliable data is the biggest ammunition you can possibly have in your bag. This data can help you in many ways:
- It can help you clearly see the effectiveness of your interventions & strategies. This can help you evaluate your strategy to see if it’s actually working or if you need to bring some changes.
- You can see how far in your journey and from your main goal you are, at any given point. This can really help you evaluate your current resources and see if you have enough resources left to reach the ultimate goal. Or if you would need to change something.
- In real life, many factors are at play at the same time. IMM can help you open your mind and see if the changes are affected as a result of your intervention or because of some other things. This can be a real eye-opener and help you see if you are spending your resources in the right direction/way.
- A very important element needed to make any project/intervention successful is to have a healthy, 2-way communication channel with your stakeholders (beneficiaries). Traditionally, the relationship with your beneficiaries/stakeholders has been a one-way street. Where you give and they receive. That outlook is restrictive & you miss out on invaluable opportunities of learning from your stakeholders. Two-way communication has many advantages and one of them is that it makes your stakeholders more open to your intervention.
- They will be happier to share their genuine issues with you and you can strengthen the design of your interventions.
- They will understand the ways in which they can benefit and be more willing to support your efforts. “IMM strategies really encourage you to incorporate all your stakeholders at every stage – from designing till reporting.
- The availability of funds is one of the biggest challenges faced by mission-driven organizations. Lack of funds can result in many great ideas not being implemented. I think we all understand the importance of proper funds to make your interventions more successful. At the same time, in the last few years, the changes that have taken place in the rest of the world has affected the philanthropic world as well. As millennials & GenZ are becoming decision-makers, the needs of donors have evolved. This new generation of decision-makers strongly believes in the need to see the impact of any donation made by them. They need transparency & data. Corporates increasingly don’t look at funding as a donation but ‘impact investing’. As a result, they expect to see returns & the impact created. If you adopt this framework for your organization, you can really open new doors & get access to way more funds for your projects.
- IMM’s benefits are not just limited to getting more funds & new donors, but it also helps you keep your current donors happy. Anyone who has been involved with a mission-driven organization that relies on donations to run their interventions already knows the importance of keeping your donors happy. After all, happy donors equal to their continuous support. Adopting IMM will help you show them that you are serious, professional, and here with the best intention of creating positive impacts only!
- Read more tips to find write the best Impact Report
- Unfortunately, in Indonesia, there is still less awareness among NGOs, and they are not adopting Impact measurement and Management at the speed needed. So adopting IMM at this stage in Indonesia can really help you stand out from other organizations & meet international standards. This can help you attract the right kind of employees, volunteers & donors. Having the right people working on your projects can make all the difference in the world. It can make or break the success of your projects. So to attract people who are committed to bringing a positive change you need to show them that your organization is committed to that as well.
- IMM can also help you show the impact created at a macro level. Adopting IMM properly would require you to align your goals & objectives with either UN SDGs or IRIS+ or another framework of your choice. No matter at which level you are creating impact – a small village or a small community or a whole country. Implementation of IMM can help you show the contribution of your projects in achieving global goals.
I have personally been working with social projects for more than 7 years now and in a lot of different capacities. I really can’t stress enough the importance of Impact Measurement & Management. I agree that it can take some time to understand all the concepts, choose which one works best for you, but once you get it - the benefits outweigh the efforts you had to put it in. After all, good things in life always need effort. Click To Tweet
If you are still unsure, you can also take help from experts in this field to guide you. We already have a lot of resources available on our website – blogs or podcasts that you can go through to learn more, and we continue to add a lot more. So feel free to peruse through that.
We also provide Advisory Services & Impact Measurement guidance as part of our Outcome-Based Funding. If you still have any questions, feel free to contact us via our website or through email: firstname.lastname@example.org