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Measuring for Success

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  1. Measuring for Success • NCHER Legislative Conference • Sophie Walker • September 26, 2013

  2. Mission Measurement helps nonprofits, foundations, and corporations measure and improve their social impact

  3. The evolution of the social capital market has changed the donor landscape Yesterday: Independent Sector Today: Social Capital Market The market values social change Programs valued more than results Donors act like consumers and want to purchase results Relationship-driven fundraising

  4. Nonprofits need data that shows how they create value in one of three ways MOST EFFECTIVE MOST EFFICIENT MOST INNOVATIVE • Can produce certain outcomes that others can’t Can produce the same outcomes as others but at a lower cost Have the potential to produce breakthrough results but untested

  5. There are a continuum of approaches to measure social impact Hope We know we have impact, no need to measure Science 5 Year Impact Study Outcome Measurement Measure your near-term outcomes

  6. Mission Measurement approaches measurement in three inter-related stages • Report and Analyze Results • Inform Strategic Decisions • Identify Priority Outcomes • Define Performance Metrics Align Strategies • Design Measurement Process • Implement Data Collection

  7. Identifying high-value outcomes is the first step to effective measurement Impact We measure long-term change only if it is possible, practical and informative to do so Outcomes Outcomes are the focus of our measurement. They tell our impact story, let us know if we’re on track, and help us make timely improvements Level of Impact Activities We track activities (as required) to show accountability and track execution Time

  8. Measuring outcomes is much higher value than measuring activities Activities Things we do Outcomes Results or changes we produce Conduct training Provide mentoring Gain press coverage Measuring activities asks, “how many?” Increase skills Improve leadership Improve perception Measuring outcomes asks, “how well?”

  9. Develop strong metrics that are credible, feasible, and valuable Weak Strong Credible Change in Chicago unemployment rate % of participants placed in jobs Feasible Job retention after 1 year Job retention after 90 days* Valuable # of activated or highly-engaged partners Total number of organizations contacted *Research shows that 90-day job retention leads to longer-term retention.

  10. To begin, build a Success Equation Impact What are we ultimately trying to accomplish? Priority Outcomes What changes in behavior, condition, or status are required? A + B + C = D Performance Measures How do we measure progress toward our outcomes? Key Strategies Which programs will drive results?

  11. USA Funds evolved to having a laser focus on results USA Funds faced new pressures as a nonprofit organization: • Changing and evolving role of funders • Shift towards an investment orientation in philanthropy • Increased demand for results • Opportunities for sustainable value creation or shared value creation USA Funds wanted to use measurement to: • Determine if investments made were worthwhile • Illustrate good stewardship of resources • Build credibility with stakeholders • Maximize actions to reach strategic goals • Demonstrate contribution to social good

  12. USA Funds and Mission Measurement created an Impact Framework based on high-value outcomes Corporate Impact: Increase economic and social opportunity for disadvantaged students through enhancing attainment of post-secondary education goals • Postsecondary Readiness and Enrollment • Postsecondary Persistence and Success • Utilization of Best Practices at Participating Institutions Shorter term Longer term Products, Services, & Grants

  13. USA Funds and Mission Measurement developed a deliberate, thoughtful approach to implementation Overcoming Internal Challenges • Using new terminology • Managing multiple data sources • Non-existent data collection tools • Lack of automation Moving from Concept to Practice • Identify useful data sources and metrics • Create data collection tools • Use a consistent set of evaluation terms • Develop a process and regular schedule for data collection and reporting • Involve product/program managers throughout the process to create buy-in • De-mystify evaluation (i.e. internal training sessions for staff) • Allow a role for both external and internal evaluation • Regular progress monitoring

  14. USA Funds learned some key lessons in how to make measurement “stick” • Management commitment • Employees have ownership in a process they helped develop • Yield better and more useful information • Bringing in outside firm to accelerate process

  15. Measurement is not a one-time event, but a dynamic learning process

  16. Thank you! Sophie Walker Engagement Manager @MissionMeasure