Why your nonprofit should start thinking about impact measurement right now?
Every NGO needs to have an impact on the environment and the community. Most NGOs have multiple projects that are running, which makes it easier to target a large group of people and try to make an impact. However, the impact needs to be measured to see if these projects are making a difference and if you are getting results. A common theme that we have noticed is that impact measurement is often neglected and many NGOs believe that they are making a difference when it is not often the case. Having good impact measurement strategies can not only help you save money but also ensure that resources are not wasted.
In the following article, we will look at some of the signs that should alert you to impact measurement. We have isolated 5 different signs that you could look at, which indicates that you need to adopt formal impact measurement or improve your current methods. Here are the top 5 signs we like to look at:
Consistent Funding Requirements
Since most of your funding will be from donors, one of the biggest issues is when you need to add additional funds to a project and you don’t have anything to show for it. Should you find yourself in this position, it is best to do some introspection and either adopt or improve impact measurement. Donors will use impact measurement data to determine if it is viable for them.
Excessive Funds Leftover
On the other end of the spectrum, you can find yourself with excessive funds that are not utilized. While it might be a positive sign, you should not start new projects until you have a look at some of the current successful projects. One of the reasons for excessive funds leftover each month could be due to underfunding some of the ventures.
If you are running a public program, you will have the community be a big part of the process. Generally, you will meet with community leaders and they will brief you on the impact of your project. It is best to listen to the feedback and if you are constantly having negative feedback, you might need to sharpen your impact measurement skills. These could help determine issues in the community that you might have missed.
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Results Are Taking Longer Than Planned
Whilst doing market research, it is often to miss some of the small details. These details will reveal themselves and often extend the projects to ensure that you make an impact. However, you might notice that nothing happens for a very long time and your results take far longer than planned to filter through.
If this happens, you can be sure that your current impact measurement strategies are not considering all of the possibilities. Once you have reached this timeframe of a project, it is best to take a while and reassess the possibilities, while looking at historic data to see if any issues could have been avoided.
The NGO Is Not Growing
Stagnation is one of the worst things for any person in life and you will need your NGO to grow if you are to have a successful NGO. If the state of the NGO remains the same for an extended period, you need to look at what is halting the growth. It is one of the best signs that your NGO needs to improve impact measurement to see why the projects are not growing or reaching targets.
Impact measurement is a vital part of any NGO and it could make a big difference when it comes to setting up your NGO for success. If you encounter any of the 5 signs we have mentioned, you should step back and have a look at your impact measurement strategies. It could help you have an expert give you some advice on the strategies as well.
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