Impact measurement is changing, and we need to change with it. Organisations that lead the trends and are ahead-of-the-curve are embracing a more embedded approach to impact management and adopting a real-time approach when measuring.
But why is it so important to modify our approaches to Impact Management?
First, let’s go back to what Impact Management is supposed to help us to do:
- Prove our value to funders and other stakeholders. To truly live out your brand promise, impact management is vital.
- Understand the needs of our beneficiaries in order for us to evaluate, as well as innovate and change ways of working.
- Continuously improve due to ongoing performance evaluation.
- Assure us that we are achieving our original objectives.
Effectively demonstrating impact is very beneficial when looking to win new contracts, attract new donors, and securing new forms of investment. Ensure your approach to impact management is serving you well by considering the following:
The breadth of your organisational impact. Measuring outcomes with the focus of providing information to commissioners or funders is a quite limiting and short-term approach, whilst choosing to develop an organisational-wide impact strategy in which your performance assessment and impact measurement is led by the organisation’s mission, quality standards, social responsibility and the breadth of services you offer, is a more strategic approach.
Why is this important, you ask? We’re sure you will agree that most marketplaces are incredibly crowded, so it is no surprise that many organisations are claiming standardised outcomes to funders, therefore your ability to demonstrate the quality and depth of the customer experience, as well as any added value impact, automatically makes your organisation unique and competitive.
Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation Processes. Many organisations overlook the fact that staff and beneficiaries can play an integral role in monitoring and evaluation practices. Actively engaging them in the ongoing evaluation and continual improvement process will help shape the strategy behind the project, better assess its performance and impact, provide accountability to stakeholders and tactfully influence policy.
Monitoring impact real-time and understand the individual beneficiary experience. Investing in a client relationship management system (CRM) will enable an organisation to monitor delivery, outcomes and feedback at the individual level to provide better more intuitive relationships with beneficiaries. A CRM however also allows for data within records to be aggregated within a dashboard to give a full picture of the extent and cost of intervention provided and the associated impact, to assess performance. It’s time to do away with using spreadsheets or stand-alone surveys that lose the personal history of interaction and are inefficient to maintain and manage as your organisation grows.
Managing change and improving outcomes. Efficient impact management often requires a change in daily processes and the increase in the use of technology. This can require a cultural shift in working practices of staff which needs to be managed. Adopting new systems and digital processes aims to give staff more transparency and control over the journey of their client, and staff in the charitable sector are motivated by helping clients achieve positive outcomes.
A change management strategy, therefore, needs to focus on involving and helping staff see the positive benefits this change in approach can bring, as opposed to it being an admin chore or compliance requirement.
Economic Change is a social enterprise on a mission! As a social enterprise, they are passionate about helping organisations make a POSITIVE CHANGE IN SOCIETY through all of the work they do.
Find out more about their Online Impact Measurement Training Course or attend their Impact Masterclass workshop here http://www.economicchange.co.uk/training-workshops/
Heather Black is presenting a summary session on Impact Measurement at the Institute of Fundraising Convention in July, find out more http://www.fundraisingconvention.uk/