ImpactStory

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What is Theory of Change?

Theory of Change is essentially a comprehensive description and illustration of how and why a desired change is expected to happen in a particular context. It is focused in particular on mapping out or “filling in” what has been described as the “missing middle” between what a program or change initiative does (its activities or interventions) and how these lead to desired goals being achieved. This website includes everything you need to know in order to understand and create a Theory of Change.

2021-11-15T17:04:29+00:00Categories: Solid Framework|Tags: , |

What Impact? A Framework for Measuring the Scale and Scope of Social Performance

Leaders of organizations in the social sector are under growing pressure to demonstrate their impacts on pressing societal problems such as global poverty. This Social Enterprise Initiative, Harvard Business School working paper reviews the debates around performance and impact, drawing on three literatures: strategic philanthropy, nonprofit management, and international development. We then develop a contingency framework for measuring results, suggesting that some organizations should measure long-term impacts, while others should focus on shorter-term outputs and outcomes. In closing, we discuss the implications of our analysis for future research on performance management.

Measuring Success How Robin Hood Estimates the Impact of Grants

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.

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