Impact Is Everything

March 28, 2017

Every organization must tell their story. Elements of the story can be the mission statement – a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual. Another way to tell the story is the elevator pitch – a succinct and persuasive sales pitch. However,  the most meaningful communication for any nonprofit organization is the impact statement. This is the heart of what nonprofits do, the differences they make, the results and outcomes by which they are measured. The impact statement drills down into the specifics and keeps organizations accountable to their mission.

The impact statement is vital internally and externally. Staff members must be able to measure the results of a nonprofit’s mission. Everyone inside a nonprofit organization needs to know what success looks like, lessons learned and what needs to be changed. Impact and outcome measurements provide opportunities for learning and improvement. It takes measuring activity to the next level by matching it with results.

As the competition for funding becomes more competitive, the nonprofits that effectively manage to outcomes will win. Putting a face and telling the story about the community served will also show your funders who they’re supporting. For example, nonprofits that cater to convicted felons may not seem as desirable as an organization that supports children. But telling the story of people who gained employment, who can now support their families, who have become better parents, and have broken the cycle of crime and poverty can be compelling. This scenario offers a lot of opportunities for measurement and impact.

Leap of Reason written by Mario Marino is a great resource for nonprofits that want help measuring the success of their programs.  Read it and you will challenge the way your organization thinks about its mission.