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The Non-Profit Perspective

Impact Assessment
How proving impact, makes an impact

At the end of the day, the primary objective of a social sector organisation is to provide a realistic and tangible impact on the community. This is fundamentally understood and yet the actual efforts to prove this impact are desperately lacking. In terms of business, this means that we are performing the jobs and work required to provide the service but can’t see the results we are actually making. Not only is this disheartening for the organisations helping without realisation of how much they are affecting, but it also makes the overall impact less effective. The reason is that impact assessment enables organisations to adjust and adapt their efforts on the community, refining it to provide better and better support for those that need it. It is the light that illuminates the unknown and allows us to actually see what is happening, dramatically improving any offerings and efforts.
 
The only way to help our communities is to listen
and keep listening...
The Effects of Impact Assessment

Besides the most direct effect of Impact Assessment, there are many other aspects that make it a very valuable tool. One such benefit is the proof of results it provides. With the ability to properly demonstrate the size and scale of support offered to the community it becomes easier to gather additional support for said community. This applies to the general populace as well as other organisations that can offer added support. From small donations to large scale funding and investment, there are many tiers of support that only become truly available when we start providing tangible evidence that our work is causing a positive effect.

In fact, one such form of investment has grown some significant popularity as of late, namely impact bonds. This form of support only becomes available after certain aspects of impact are proven. For each step met and proven, the next stage of investment becomes available. The reason the onus of impact is shifting toward the organisations providing the support is that it provides a better capability to the organisations on the ground. However, on the corporate level, this remains as important since fundamentally these organisations are also trying to provide impact for the investments they make. This essentially means; if you can prove your impact, you can start taking the next steps toward proper growth…
How will we impact the world?
How do we prove impact?

The proving of impact can be a tricky endeavour, especially for organisations helping the most marginalised and disadvantaged communities. The reason is that impact assessment largely comes from the groups we are making that impact on because they are the ones being affected and therefore best equipped to identify it.

So to start providing concrete evidence of impact we must look to provide our community with the tools to inform us of the impacts being made. This ultimately requires an injection of technology, as this usually provides the cheapest and easiest options for communication. From social media to various apps and more that lift the community up and into the visible spectrum in this attention driven economy. These tools allow us to better connect with the groups we help and understand the effects we are having on them. From there it is a matter of working together with the communities we cater to so we can all see some tangible growth!
 
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Transparency in Marketing

People can’t help with things they don’t know or understand and more so they won’t help with what they can’t trust. So a massive part of any marketing efforts, especially for social enterprises or NPOs, is creating a transparent and visible view of the organisation and its motivations. This allows the community to relate to the efforts involved in the organisation and identify aspects they can help with. As well as this there is also the topic of business values, and maintaining these values throughout the organisation’s lifespan. This is done well through transparency since it invites everyone to focus on those values involved, not just the members of the organisation itself but also their community at large. This keeps us all motivated, honest and accountable.

Transparency also plays a significant role in trust within the organisation itself. This stems from the fact that everyone is acutely aware of the aspects involved in the organisation. From their motivations, aims, mission and efforts, everyone has the information available to them and the ability to offer up their own initiatives. Not only does this serve to bring everyone in the organisation together, but it also provides much more efficiency since everyone is on the same page and able to contribute to every step.
When we have nothing to hide, trust flourishes...

Time to Push Transparency

Transparency in marketing clearly has many benefits, not least in the effort of garnering organic support. This open form of marketing enables trust across all branches of the organisation and as a result, plays a significant role in bringing everyone together and connecting the organisation with their community. It also means that transparent marketing can be used as a form of impact assessment, allowing everyone to see the connection between organisation and community.

This open platform invites the honest interpretation of events from the side of those that are being affected. It helps provide a larger picture of what is going on and ensures that no one along the way gets left behind. It is time to start doing things in the open and demonstrating to all that watches just how powerful our efforts can be and the effects they are having for everyone involved.
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Discovering the wealth of online information

I can’t believe we’re already into February, what even happened to January? Time flies when we’re busy and it’s so easy to lose track of it and end up in a space we don’t always recognise. What doesn’t help is the sheer speed of everything at the moment, from social media to technology there doesn’t seem to be any hint of slowing down soon.

The reality is the speed of everything is only going to increase and we are going to be expected to keep up with the madness. This can feel rather overwhelming and understandably so. However, there are tools and facilities available to us that can help keep pace with the speed of life we’ve been thrust into, all we need to do is be daring enough to look and patient enough to listen. So without any further ado, and before everything gets any faster, let’s just jump into some of the available options for learning on the move.

First off, it is important to realise that there is an extremely large amount of information available online. If we aren’t actively keeping an eye on innovations and explanations than we are dramatically limiting our potential. The only way to stay on top of things is to be proactive, not reactive. So, everyone, go out and find out more!

Of course, we wouldn’t discuss this topic without providing examples of such claims. So here is a list of available online webinars just in the month of February alone and best of all? They’re all free.
  • How marketing translates to more donations
https://cc.readytalk.com/registration/#/?meeting=8wpnq6ehsgl1&campaign=jdjablrgob3w
  • The future of fundraising for 2019 and beyond
https://info.univoip.org/next-level-fundraising-webinar-register-now?utm_medium=email&utm_source=nphub&utm_campaign=webinar
  • Keys to successful and enthusiastic volunteer involvement at your Nonprofit
https://www.charityhowto.com/nonprofit-webinar/new-free-webinar-7-keys-to-successful-enthusiastic-volunteer-involvement-at-your-nonprofit?list=Upcoming+Live+Webinars
  • How to use Social Media to raise money online
https://www.nptechforgood.com/2019/01/04/free-webinar-how-to-use-social-media-to-raise-money-online/
 
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