Recently I was asked how we define “impact” at UpMetrics and what is required to be able to measure impact. Initially I was struck at the seemingly obvious question – we use the word “impact” so often when evaluating success that it seemed crazy that philanthropy wouldn’t have a singular definition that is utilized by all. But I loved the idea that this person didn’t make the assumption that we all thought of impact in the same way, because after thinking about it I realized that UpMetrics does define impact in a slightly different way than would be expected and it directly relates to why the company was started in the first place.
The Impact of Results Based Accountability for Nonprofits
Nonprofits know the importance of giving. In many cases, they rely on individual contributions to thrive. However, money alone is not enough to help nonprofits make a difference. A streamlined grants management process helps to measure impact and shows that money is being spent efficiently.
The below is an excerpt from How to Make Data Actionable, published earlier this year. Don't miss Kaci speak further to successful collaboration and her experience with the Black Equity Collective in our webinar October 19th.
At UpMetrics, when it comes to our marketing efforts, we are focused on one thing: building trust. That may seem counterintuitive since we are a revenue generating SaaS company selling an impact analytics platform to impact-focused organizations. Why not stress the features that make up the platform? Lead with stories of your peers who have seen success with the technology, or speak to how we are different from other data analytics tools out there?
Are you in search of procedures to aid in the organization of project components? Almost any logic model will show how you can present your project in terms of resources, activities, and short and long-term outcomes. These are essential tools that may aid in the clarification of goals and communicate the fundamentals of how an initiative operates to others.
In June of this year UpMetrics developed and distributed a collaboration-themed survey to over 1,000 foundations and nonprofits. Our intention was to understand if nonprofits and foundations had the same understanding of key areas of collaboration like key performance indicators, the capacity levels of nonprofits to deliver on reporting, and expectations around what a successful collaborative initiative looks like. As we as a sector look to effective collaboration more and more as a powerful tool that will support our ability to tackle challenges in our communities today, it is imperative that all stakeholders are approaching the partnership with the same expectations and goals in order to see the expected positive change.
Qualitative measurement is a broad and complicated field of approach necessary to determine the success of a social impact endeavor. To help ensure that your initiative is prosperous, we’ve compiled an overview of measuring qualitative data (and how it differs from quantitative data) and background on the many forms of qualitative data, techniques, and methodologies. Before embarking on qualitative measurement, here are a few key concepts to consider.
In February I had the pleasure of chatting with my friend and colleague Jessica Mindnich on a webinar that focused on the importance of shifting the funder-grantee relationship toward one that encourages continuous knowledge sharing between parties. This is a topic close to my heart as well as Jessica’s, who is the Senior Director of Evaluation, Learning and Impact Stories at Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The truth is that trust-based relationships that prioritize collaboration and transparency are the only way we will be able to move the needle on some of the social issues that philanthropy, and the greater public, are looking to take on.
Trust is at the core of every effective professional relationship. As this research from the American Psychology Association points out, when both parties trust each other they can spend more time finding solutions to shared challenges and less time and energy worrying that their interests aren’t being reflected in decision-making.