Three interesting examples of impact reporting

Posted By SAMETRICA Customer Success on Mar 20, 2019 12:24:00 PM

Impact reporting can feel a bit intimidating. Figuring out answers to the big questions - What do you measure? How do you measure it? How do you collect the data? How do you create impact reports? Which standards do you align with? Are you overwhelmed yet? Breathe. It can feel overwhelming, but in 2019, this is well-trod ground. To get you started, we’ve put together a list of strong, publicly available impact reporting examples, what we like about them, and what you can learn from them.

Example 1: Social Value Canada (SVC) Impact Challenge

Author: Assorted. Compiled by Dr. Kate Ruff at Carleton University.

Link to the report is here.

What’s in it: The SVC report is actually the product of a worldwide hackathon for impact reporting. Volunteers from around the world worked on the data from a Toronto based charity to create the best possible reporting.

Why we like it: This document is a real gem. It has multiple reports from multiple groups on the same dataset. You can really see how different reporting approaches can yield different insights and approaches to the same dataset.

What you can take away from it: So many:

  1. With the right data infrastructure, you can make an impact report in almost no time. All the reports created in this document were created in under five hours. Participants in the challenge got the whole, complete dataset from the charity, proving that if you have the right dataset, impact reporting does not have to be time-consuming and painful. Keep in mind that these reports were compiled manually. With a software, the reports would be in realtime. 
  2. Examples of good impact reporting structure and process. Starting on page 8, Dr. Ruff comes up with some examples of great impact reporting. If you’re struggling with creating an impact report for your own organization, take a look, starting on pg. 8. In summary:
    1. A coherent account of performance: Have a visual display of your inputs, outputs, outcomes, and stakeholders.
    2. Support claims with evidence: This doesn’t have to be quantitative evidence necessarily - Beneficiary anecdotes and other qualitative evidence has its place in evidencing claims.
    3. Make the report readable and unbiased: Simple language and a consistent framework for determining what to include and not include in your report (this concept is also referred to as “materiality”.
All of the above are supported with great examples of actual reports in the SVC Impact Challenge. 

Example 2: Pathways to Education

Author: Boston Consulting Group

Link to the report is here.

What’s in it: This is the executive summary of a larger report that was developed for the nonprofit Pathways to Education

Why we like it: This is the oldest report included in this list, and take note that some of the methodology is not up-to-date. That being said, it’s worth including in this list because it had such a big impact on Pathways to Education.

What you can take away from it: The layout of this presentation is bang-on even in 2019. If you need to create a presentation for your senior executive, you can take a lot of lessons on report layout, and the proof points of impact for Pathways PoE raised $10.5MM from the Government of Canada.

Example 3: Economic Value of Heritage

Author: Simetrica. Full disclosure, we refer to this firm as variations of our “fraternal name-twin”. But they are not affiliated with us.

Link to the report is here.

Type of reporting: Contingent valuation reporting.

Why we like it: Heritage is a tricky thing to monetize and report on. Simetrica has led the way in coming up with new, credible valuation techniques that really push the boundaries of SROI and monetization.

What you can take away from it: Hedonic pricing and the advanced techniques that Simetrica uses is probably out of the bounds of most people’s quantitative analysis capability. However, there are a few key takeaways for us here:

  1. It is possible to value “soft” things like heritage.
  2. Gathering comparative data is possible, and can be used to generate monetary valuations of social outcomes.

One thing to consider - Simetrica is known for highly sophisticated and credible analysis, so we would caution against attempting these specific methodologies unless you have a statistician or econometrician on staff.  

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