[Webinar Recap] Maintaining Effective Impact Measurement in a Crisis: Key Takeaways

August 12, 2020 Brian Isaac

Now more than ever, it’s important not to lose track of the impact that fundraising is making to people’s lives. 

COVID-19 continues to rapidly impact our communities, leaving nonprofits with unprecedented challenges. That’s why impact measurement and evaluation is critical to providing transparency into how your mission is impacting the broader community. 

This week at Blackbaud, our leading Outcomes and Measurements expert Greg Simmons shared the insights and tools for successfully keeping track of your organisation’s impact. Continue reading for a short recap of Greg’s session. 

What has COVID-19 done for nonprofits? 

COVID-19 has affected everyone, and both philanthropic funders and donors have responded in a big way. Successful tax appeal campaigns and COVID-19 appeals through May and June are clear evidence that organisations and supporters are active want to help, even during one of our most challenging years.  

For example, organisations like the Foundation for Rural & Regional Renewal have pushed forward with their promise to provide grants supporting community service renewal, community wellbeing, and economic initiatives in the face of COVID-19. 

And it’s in situations like this that it’s most important to track the impact we’re making.

"Data alone will not deliver change, but it is a critical component in so much of our work, including advocacy”, Community Council for Australia CEO David Crosbie writes in Data drives change. “Without input from charities, we will not have the data we need to make the strongest possible case for targeted investment in charities across Australia." 

This means that if Australia’s charities are to be given further consideration by government, business, communities, and donors, we need to build a case for increased support, based on good data.

"Data alone will not deliver change, but it is a critical component in so much of our work, including advocacy”

Agility is key in 2020 

Organisations using cloud-based systems can pivot more quickly, enabling them to stay focused and provide greater support to their communities. 

In Measuring Impact and the Power of Just Getting Started, Greg tells the story of HIPPY Australia, which operates in 100 communities and offers learning and parenting programs, often for disadvantaged families. 

Increasingly over the last decade, HIPPY has been required to demonstrate to the Australian Government its impact of its interventions for vulnerable people and communities. In response, the organisation worked with Blackbaud to employ a variety of tools and tactics that helped analyse its performance, manage communication and records, monitor compliance and risk, and more. 

All of these efforts led to programs involving better training across its network, consistent measures of quality and compliance, and most recently, analyses on the true impact of home-based learning. 

The top tools for community engagement and advocacy 

Both your impact and your outcomes remain imperatives for reporting to government entities and funders. But with COVID-19, it has become increasingly important to also share with the community you serve. 

One of our favourite ways is to connect with your community online through surveys and portals. A great example of this is the set of community engagement activities employed by Intereach’s Community Linker program, which serves to ‘link’ people with the support that can enhance their everyday lives. 

Do you have your Measurement and Evaluation strategy in place? 

While the work of your organisation comes from the heart, if you’re not monitoring, tracking, and properly reporting your impact, you’re missing a key component that can help advance your mission.

Greg developed Measuring Impact and the Power of Just Getting Started for organisations starting out with Measurement and Evaluation. In this free download, your team will learn the step-by-step approach to setting up simple frameworks and developing the quality of your Measurement and Evaluation practice.

Download Measuring Impact and the Power of Just Getting Started now

Webinar originally hosted on Monday, 3 August 2020 as part of ConnectingUp’s COVID-19 Expert Bar 

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