About Social Impact

Why measure your social impact?

Social impact is linked to the core mission of an organisation and its key projects, services or interventions – it’s the impact (or change) an organisation makes or wants to make. These impacts can be intended or not, can be positive or negative and is the effect on individuals or communities.

Measuring your impact can help you ‘prove’ the change you are making to funders, staff, beneficiaries and other stakeholders as well as helping you ‘improve’ the impact you want to make. This can be achieved though active proactive ‘impact management’ to constantly review and adapt your projects or interventions to get the maximum benefit.

The benefits of measuring impact

In more detail the benefits can include:

  • Helping you to plan your work
  • Helping you to evaluate your work and the impact you have created
  • Helps promote and market your work and organisation
  • Builds a shared understanding with staff, management and other key stakeholders
  • Helps you best target resources
  • Builds credibility and reputation
  • Makes a political point about the value you create
  • Can provide a competitive advantage by helping you to better manage your resources and deliver consistent results

This is not a complete list but what is important is to create an impact management system / framework that is appropriate for the size or your organisation and not a drain on your valuable time. If designed properly the system will be integrated into your organisation, the way you do business and help you make ‘real time’ decisions about your projects.

How to use this website

This website contains links to various guides and reports as well as an Outcomes Matrix based on the Big Society Capital model.

The benefit of using the Outcomes Matrix is that you can see in one simple table the outcomes (changes) you expect to see and a range of indicators, so you can check if the outcome or change has taken place. Another benefit of the tool is that it provides some suggestions as to how you can measure the indicators, but this is not a finite list as there are many tools and methodologies available that you can use (see Guides and Reports page).

At this stage it is also useful – but not essential – if you have created a theory of change model, so you can understand the sequence of events and track the causal links from mission through to your activities and outcomes. Please contact us to help you develop your own theory of change model.

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How was the Outcomes Matrix developed?

This outcomes matrix was developed by Phil Tulba and based on the model developed by Big Society Capital in partnership with a range of experts and intermediaries from the sector. Key partners include the Good Analyst, New Philanthropy Capital, Social Value International and Triangle Consulting.