On April 2nd, I moderated a panel of rockstars at the Association of Fundraising Professionals International Conference entitled Outcomes, Outputs, and Measures – Oh My! The session discussion centered on proving social impact, measuring success, and “claiming” outcomes to today’s funder/donor. Here’s each of the panelists “must” threes from their unique point of view, and resources referenced during the session. Many thanks to Ritu, Gail and Dara for sharing their experiences!
Ritu Sharma, ED & Co-Producer, Social Media for Nonprofits
“donor of the future” perspective
- Measure things that matter—map metrics to mission
- Just say no to jargon—avoid acronyms and organization-speak
- Meet people where they are—slacktivism is a lie, so embrace Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, etc.
Gail Vertz, CEO Grant Professionals Assoc.
- Develop a relationship with funders before, during and after a grant is submitted
- Adhere to reporting requirements—fiscal and programmatic
- Practice mission-driven grantsmanship
Dara Westling, VP of Development, TechSoup Global
“corporate donor” perspective
In case you don’t want to play the video, Dara’s “must” threes are 1) Pay ongoing attention to funder’s metrics but don’t lose sight of your own; think collaboratively and find points of connection. 2) Don’t have metrics for metrics’ sake; measure the right things and always re-evaluate 3) Be authentic about what’s truly measurable; balance the stories and the numbers.
A few good outcomes resources and articles:
- Outcomemapping.ca – online learning community for mapping outcomes – based in Canada
- DemonstratingValue.org – helps orgs think about best ways to articulate and demonstrate value of their services
- Stanford Social Innovation Review blog- posting a lot of content about outcomes lately
- GEO (grantmakers for effective organizations) – occasionally post resources on outcome measurement
- ‘Most Significant Change’ approach to outcome evaluation focuses on multi-stakeholder / participatory evaluation (an online search will surface resources on this approach)
- ‘Money for Good’ study done by Hope Consulting and GuideStar U.S. analyses giving behavior and advises on how to balance stories and numbers
Good examples for Infographics and Digital Storytelling:
- Charity:water (http://www.charitywater.org/september/)
- WildAid Machine (http://www.wildaid.org/difference)
- Obesity Epidemic visualization (http://visitmix.com/labs/descry/theobesityepidemic/)
- The Billion $-o-gram (http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/2010/the-billion-dollar-o-gram-2009/)
- Annie Leonard’s “The Story of Stuff” (http://www.storyofstuff.org/)
Online resources for creating your own digital story/infographics:
- Wild Apricot (http://bit.ly/Hs7PnH)
- TechSoup.org (http://forums.techsoup.org/cs/p/tsdigs.aspx)