Understanding the Change you are Making:
Many mission-driven companies and nonprofit organizations struggle to fully understand the impact of their work. When reporting to stockholders, board members and other key decision-makers, they often highlight “vanity measures” that capture organizational output rather than impact. These outputs, like number of customers served, hours dedicated, or resources spent generally fail to address the crucial question: what change did this all make? What was the impact of this work?
Over the years, Schaffer&Combs has honed an impact management framework, or logic model, to enable its clients, from Global 500s to grassroots NGOs, to answer that question effectively.
This framework applies a rigorous categorization to an organization’s measurable inputs, outputs, outcomes, and impact. In turn, this enables organizations to classify and understand their effectiveness.
The framework is deceptively simple and works well in straightforward monitoring and evaluation environments, but also in hard to measure settings, like policy or general operating grants. We have taught and installed this outcomes-driven approach for two decades across the globe, in a variety of challenging situations.
In an era when customer choice and institutional grant-making is increasingly tied to an organization’s demonstrable impact, this logic model approach not only helps organizations make their case to their investors, but also to create improvements in their programs or products.