Every nonprofit organization strives to execute their missions and deliver quality services. Taking the step towards conducting an Impact Measurement Study (also known as an Outcome Measurement Study, Performance Measurement, or Performance Evaluation) enables your organization to measure the effectiveness of your activities and programs.
Why is it important?
*There are several compelling reasons to measure outcomes:
- Measuring the effectiveness of a program: measure what is effective, what works, and what specific services are achieving the desired results.
- Identifying effective practices: identify which activities you should continue, what to develop, and where to focus limited resources (staff, time, financial).
- Identifying practices that need improvement: some practices may need to be modified or changed in order to improve.
- Proving your value to existing and potential funders: the climate for funding social services and capacity building has undergone radical transformations. Funders are keenly aware of the need to document the success of programs. It is vital social programs are able to demonstrate that they meet the requirement for established evaluation standards.
- Getting clarity and consensus around the purpose of your program: everyone in your organization from board members to staff and volunteers, should understand what is going on in your programs and what it is intended to achieve.
Is your organization ready to conduct an effective Impact Measurement study? You can make start the process of conducting an Impact Measurement Study today.
- Is your database ready? While impact studies do not measure counting statistics, it is important that you have an accurate database before you try to measure outcomes.
- Develop a plan to demonstrate to your Board of Directors or leadership team why an Impact Measurement Study is worth the staff time and resources. Being able to articulate the return on investment will mean that you have buy-in and support throughout the process.
- Identify what you want to measure.
- Identify who is on your impact measurement team and find out if you need to seek additional expertise.
- Create a timeline and start today.
Strengthening Nonprofits: A Capacity Builder’s Resource Library, Measuring Outcomes (http://strengtheningnonprofits.org/resources/guidebooks/measuringoutcomes.pdf)