As social impact concepts start sweeping the third sector how do organisations understand (or evaluate) the difference they make to millions of lives around the world and, identify their social impact?
In this article we break this topic down in to three key areas: what is social impact? Why it is important to understand social impact and a solution the team have developed to address its measurement.
What is social impact?
Social impact is the measure that helps determine the positive impact the work undertaken by a charity or social enterprise organisation has on:
Identifying this helps to illustrate the direct positive contribution the organisation has on these areas.
Why is it important for an organisation to understand its social impact?
Having a deeper understanding of social impact is becoming mandatory for every organisation looking to grow or even survive.
Understanding the social impact of your organisation allows you to:
- Evaluate the difference you make
- Communicate clearly to stakeholders
- Attract funding
- Develop a sustainable growth strategy
For a long time there has been a common held belief that articulating and measuring social impact can be difficult, time-consuming, costly and that it is something that only the big charities can afford to tackle.
Muesli: crunching your Social Impact
The CAN Invest team have been working hard to respond to the above challenges and have created a unique, easy-to-use online tool called Muesli.
Muesli provides an easy, quick and affordable way for charities and social enterprises to start their social impact journey and create a Social Impact Map (aka Theory of Change) which identifies outcomes and the impact.
Why use Muesli?
- It simplifies the process of measuring social impact
- It provides a credible and compelling visual output
- It is cost effective, with social impact maps starting at just £550 exc VAT
Social enterprises such as User Voice, National Star Foundation and Twining Enterprise have already developed their own Social Impact maps with CAN Invest.
Here’s what User Voice said about how the Theory of Change has helped their organisation.
"We have used the Theory of Change both internally and externally so there is much greater clarity about the impact of what we do and being able to collect data to evidence that."