Robin Hood fights poverty in New York City. The goal is to make grant decisions to maximize poverty-fighting impact, much like a financial manager chooses investments to maximize profit. The metrics project described in this manuscript has been designed to create just such a scorecard, showing ratios that guide investment decisions as financial rates and giving grants to programs that yield high benefit-cost ratios. Grant-making decisions rely on the detailed expertise of program officers as well as numerical calculations. Metrics are always under revision, a virtually never-ending project.
This Partnerships for Strategic Impact document breaks down how to talk to funders about ROI in two ways: 1) Understanding what data can and cannot tell you, and 2) Making data-informed, value-driven funding decisions.
This is an AMAZING book, well researched, easy to read, about why you should combine data and narratives, and some strategies for doing just that. WARNING: The book is written for data scientists and the author, the wonderful Brent Dykes, spends the first half of the book helping them understand why they should use data inside a story and with personal narratives - rather than just presenting a bunch of numbers! As a nonprofit leader, you might want to start at Chapter 4 (all the chapters are described in the link). I incorporate a lot of Brent's work ImpactStory™ Group Coaching.