Creating an Organization-Specific Impact Survey
Posted by WizeHive on July 12, 2018
Measuring impact has become a “must” among nonprofits, foundations, and other grantmaking organizations. Many grants focus on better quality of life for individuals and communities, reducing poverty, or hunger. But how can that really be measured? What metrics determine things like a better quality of life? And how do we really know if a reduction in poverty or hunger is directly related to your grantees’ funding?
It’s not easy. Impact can take a while to be seen and it’s often unpredictable. And most nonprofit professionals struggle with measurement due to small staff size or lack of training.
Starting with an impact survey can help. An impact survey allows your organization to collect important data points consistently across all grantees and project types. But what should you include in your survey and how do you get grantees to share information in a meaningful way? Get started by including the following categories in your impact survey:
This section could also include open-ended questions like the intended outcomes of the program or grant by asking grantees to include what was in the original proposal. You’ll also want to ask grantees to include evidence from the data collected to support whether outcomes were achieved, both quantitative and qualitative. If any intended outcomes were not achieved, here is where they can indicate the reasons, as well as any unintended outcomes -- both positive and negative.
“What would have improved your experience with our organization?”
“Do you plan to apply for future grants from our organization? If no, why not?”
“Do you have any additional comments?”
Finish up by creating an action plan. Completing the survey might be one item to check off on your to do list, but if you’re not doing anything with your survey feedback, you’re ending right where you started. Put your plan into motion by assessing areas of improvement and determining the action items that can bring you up to the next level. Your organization, the grantees in your next funding cycle, and all the individuals they influence will be better for it.
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