Nonprofits Strategize for Impact Measurement and Accountability

Nonprofits need to demonstrate their effectiveness and accountability to donors, stakeholders, and the public by measuring and communicating their impact.

Effective measurement of impact begins with clearly defined metrics that align with an organization’s mission and goals. These organization-specific metrics are also referred to as Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Simply put, an organization needs to define what “success” looks like, develop a mission-driven plan to achieve success, collect data to measure results, and then finally they need to communicate those results.

To begin, you should focus on measuring how your organization’s activities are leading to meaningful change. This can be achieved by developing a logic model that includes inputs, activities, outputs, outcomes, and impact.

Inputs: What resources does the program require to be successful? How much staff is required? How much funding?

Activities: What high-level steps are required to run the program? This can be very general: identifying impacted communities, enrollment of program participants, etc.

Outputs: What results can you measure immediately? If your organization focuses on helping people find affordable housing how many apartments were leased in a month? If part of your mission is to provide meal solutions to food insecure communities how many meals did you provide in a month?

Outcomes: What measurable change are you striving to achieve in the short-term? What would indicate that you are progressing toward your goal? For example: help people with disabilities receive the assistance they need to live safely off the streets.

Impact: What measurable change are you striving to achieve in the long-term? This could be as simple as the overall mission.

By clearly defining the metrics that align with your organization’s goals you can define what success looks like and exhibit the impact of your organization’s efforts.

Davis & Hodgdon has been assisting nonprofit organizations throughout New England for more than 30 years. We are committed to helping our clients in the nonprofit sector achieve their goals as they strive for financial sustainability. Specific nonprofit services include: tax planning and compliance, accounting and auditing, internal controls, board member services, fundraising, grant compliance and much more.

Do something wise today.


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