How can charities measure and maximise impact?

Guest Bloggers | 6 February 2014

Here are 5 tips on how to measure and maximise your impact to funders…

1. Change can be good

First and foremost, the important question is why your organisation wishes to measure impact in the first place. Is it solely to produce something to show to funders? Or is it intended to actually improve your organisation’s service to users? If it is the latter, use the results of impact measurement to change what is not working.

2. Using existing information can be effective

Colleagues within your organisation can be particularly useful when it comes to gathering information. Speak with different teams about how they have approached certain tasks, their fundraising targets and outcomes whether that includes successes or difficulties. Someone in your charity may have exactly what you are looking to use!

3. Nice and simple – the truth matters

Often, in order to please funders, a charity may decide to present data differently than how it is in truth. Funders are wary that not everything is done perfectly – and instead may be more interested in how your organisation is planning to improve. The Impact in Fundraising conference will highlight the importance of collecting the right data to illustrate your campaigns and how to communicate them effectively even if the results aren’t as positive as hoped.

4. Funders like the use of case studies

Reading about a charity’s activities can be much more stimulating than bombarding funders with statistics which they do not necessarily have time to grasp fully. Evidence of end user involvement can be key to ensuring funders remain engaged and interested in your organisation’s activities. Have you ever thought about using a video?

5. Put value on social return

An effective way of looking at your organisation’s impact is to put a value on the social return on investment – that being the change that your charity makes to service users and stakeholders. Take time to look at the changes which result from each activity undertaken.

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