In this module we will cover: 

  • Defining an Impact Chain: Outputs, Outcome and Impact
  • Key features on impact measurement
  • How to track data 
  • How to measure effectiveness 
  • How to demonstrate value-for-money to funders 
  • How to express impact in monetary terms 
  • How to convey depth of impact 

The most common starting point for ventures looking to measure their impact is to define their impact metrics. 

These are the key measures of how a venture will be able to decide if it is succeeding or not. Without clear metrics, you risk mission drift (going off course because you don’t really know what you’re aiming for) or mission capture (undertaking work simply because you have found a funder with a different set of objectives).

One of the simplest metrics that almost every venture should measure is the number of beneficiaries that you serve. Beneficiaries can be split into direct and indirect. A direct beneficiary is someone who is the direct recipient of your intervention – a patient receiving a vaccination, for example, or a student being taught in class.  

An indirect beneficiary is someone who indirectly gains from what you do. For example, BasicNeeds is a leading mental health charity providing support for people suffering from debilitating mental health problems such as depression and schizophrenia in developing countries. They estimate that for every person who suffers from one of these diseases, there are another 2 in their household who are affected, principally as carers who may be forced to give up work in order to look after a relative. BasicNeeds therefore records both the direct number of patients that it serves, but also estimates its indirect impact as being a further two household members whose lives are affected. Recording your direct impact and estimating your wider indirect impact are important elements in impact reporting. 

To view the entire module online, click here