It’s hard to broadcast the good work you do if you don’t know how to concretely define, measure, and communicate your impact to supporters. So it’s important for charities to learn how to share about their efforts with the world.
It is even more important that you know just how big of an impact you’re making on the issue you’re trying to solve.
“Impact,” by definition, is the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another. And while this definition may make you think of car accidents or meteors, its a pretty solid metaphor for what your organization is doing. You’re coming into contact with the people who need that impact most, but with a force for good.
Impact can also refer to having a strong effect on someone or something. You’re constantly bettering the lives of those you interact with, as you work to achieve your mission, which leaves a lasting, positive effect on their lives. When you keep in mind the true meaning of the impact, in all its forms, it can help you to discover what’s important when you measure it.
Gathering data and stories of your impact is crucial. You can use those figures to market and communicate with donors, foundations, other nonprofits, and the rest of the community. What’s tricky is that the figures can be abstract. How can you objectively measure a growth in self-esteem or an increase in overall well-being? You must instead make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-Bound.)