Tag Archives: measurement

Recent approaches to measuring social impact in the third sector: an overview

by Gianni Zappalà & Mark Lyons, CSI BP No.6, 2009. Summary by Gianni Zappalà. There is a growing interest in the measurement of social impact. In some countries, there are moves towards making the use of some form of social impact measurement framework or model compulsory for those Third Sector organisations that receive government funding. Three such social impact measurement approaches are gaining traction in Australia: Social Accounting and Audit (SAA); Logic Models such as … Continue reading

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Contribution of the Not-for-Profit Sector

Draft research report, The Australian Government Productivity Commission; 14 October 2009. This commissioned study by the Australian Government has an ambitious ambit. It seeks to measure Third Sector contributions to Australian society at the aggregate, organisational, and program level. In doing so, the Productivity Commission states that it aims to enhance organisational performance, transparency for stakeholders, and related public policy. Chapter Three reveals the Commission’s evaluation approach. The Commission employs the theory of change model … Continue reading

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A Place in Society

The Economist Print Edition; 25 September 2009. When the GFC hit, financial innovation fell out of favour. Yet The Economist reports that the Third Sector is embracing it with abandon. The movement is premised on the belief that financial innovations can solve our most entrenched social problems. Recent events point to its growth in two distinct cultural contexts: San Francisco/ Silicon Valley and New York/ Wall Street. San Francisco hosted SoCap09, a conference infused with … Continue reading

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SROI Act II: A Call to Action for Next Generation SROI

by David Lascelles and Sam Mendelson, Centre for the Study of Financial Innovation; June 2009. ‘Act II’ comes with more humility and empathy than is typically attributed to the founders of the SROI movement. REDF (The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund) pioneered the SROI approach through applying it to their work in re-employment services. Responding to years of criticism during their evangelisation of SROI as the way to measure impact, they now characterise social return on … Continue reading

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Breakthroughs in Shared Measurement and Social Impact

The Foundation Strategy Group; 2009. The breakthroughs reported by the Foundation Strategy Group (FSG) refer to efforts underway to develop shared approaches to measure and report performance across organisations. This informative report highlights twenty such efforts, categorised into three types: Shared measurement platforms Comparative performance systems Adaptive learning systems The research also refers to consistent elements of success across the approaches. These include solid leadership and funding during the multi-year development period, voluntary participation, use … Continue reading

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The End of Charity: How to Fix the Nonprofit Sector Through Effective Social Investing

by David E. K. Hunter, Philadelphia Social Innovations Journal; October 2009. This author lights a fire under funders to promote social impact measurement through social investing. His claim is clear: “Social investing, if widely adopted, will help channel funding streams that are directed by measurable performance rather than feel-good stories, habits of giving and rank sentimentality. And social investing has the potential (yet to be realised) to advance a selection process that either forces poor … Continue reading

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The Wrong Risks

by Sheela Patel, The Stanford Social Innovation Review; Winter 2010. Railing against the culture of measurement, Sheela Patel takes professional philanthropists to task for the “log-frame virus” which she describes as “an infection that drives funders to insist upon seeing the logical framework or business plan of an intervention, from inputs, to outputs, to outcomes.” Patel has worked for grassroots organisations in India for over three decades and is the founding director of the Society … Continue reading

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Achieving Breakthrough Performance

by Mark Gottfredson, Steve Schaubert, and Elisabeth Babcock, Stanford Social Innovation Review; Summer 2008. How might social sector leaders position themselves to weather economic storms and ultimately flourish? Drawing on extensive consulting experience and not-for-profit management, authors Gottfredson, Schaubert, and Babcock outline a path to ‘breakthrough performance’. The authors define this as: “the kind that positions nonprofits to create high levels of social impact and lasting change.” To achieve such status, they identify four principles: … Continue reading

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Book review: The Art of Public Strategy: Mobilising Power and Knowledge for the Common Good

Geoff Mulgan, Oxford University Press; 2008. Book reviewed by Peter Shergold, Chief Executive, the Centre for Social Impact Geoff Mulgan, Director of the Young Foundation in London, is well-known to Australians for his active role in promoting social innovation. Already he has spoken twice at CSI events. As befits someone who has previously served as senior policy adviser both to Gordon Brown and Tony Blair, he is also a perceptive thinker on political life. A … Continue reading

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