As the world searches for solutions to take on social and environment issues at scale, a new era of impact has arrived. 


In closing out 2021, communities continue to search for answers and action with social inequalities taking center stage. In parallel, heightened world-wide climate change concerns have been activated by hurricanes, wildfires and floods, having a damaging ripple effect throughout the global economy.

In response, we have seen record breaking philanthropic and impact investment capital deployed within the United States over the past several years, including billions of dollars being allocated to capitalize underserved communities through government financing programs. On the corporate front, companies are now being forced to revisit DEI & ESG with intentionality as a new wave of employees, investors and consumers are demanding forward thinking success metrics combined with more transparent action-based communications plans. 

At the heart of the moment is purpose: we all want to make a difference. And to make a difference we have to identify with the issue, leverage information to baseline where we are, and set target goals to help drive towards where we want to go. 

As we head into 2022, how we define and communicate impact will be critical to not only activate and inspire, but facilitate ongoing data driven learning and decision making as we collectively look to build a better world. 

3 Takeaways from 2021 to help you define, communicate and deliver on your impact in 2022: 

  • Measure your mission: As you head into the new year, revisit your mission statement and outline what success means to you and your team. Align your 2022 mission statement with your delivery model to create an impact framework driven by 3 to 5 short term and long term goals that incorporate quantitative and qualitative components. 

  • Meet the moment: The challenges that you are taking on and the solutions required to solve them will evolve over-time. Be flexible and reflective as you track progress towards your impact goals while surfacing voice across stakeholders. To better align your resources and decision making on an ongoing basis, proactively communicate your progress and learnings with your partners, creating space with context to surface the adjustments needed to deliver on the impact that you are seeking. 

  • Contribution over attribution: Impact is a team game, delivered through collective effort across stakeholders towards a common goal. Whether you are an investor, corporation, foundation or nonprofit, as you look to align across your fellow changemakers, develop your relationships by highlighting why you are personally looking to make a difference. Openly communicate what impact means to you and your team, applying respect and empathy to more effectively break down the silos towards success. Leave your ego at the door! 

Looking for additional resources as you strategize your 2022 plans? Explore our resources page, where you can read case studies from your peers, best practices for defining goals, and tips on how to create a data-driven culture at your organization.


Post by Drew Payne
December 21, 2021