18 Ways to Say “Impact”

October 24, 2023

Maryfrances Porter

A topic that came up recently in the ImpactStory Academy is all the different words for IMPACT.

I started a quick list and came up with 18 different words – I know, right!

  1. Achievement
  2. Actionable Impact
  3. Benchmark
  4. Criterion
  5. Impact (immediate, short-term, intermediate, and long-term)
  6. Indicator
  7. KPI (Key Performance Indicator)
  8. Meaningful Change
  9. Measure
  10. Metric
  11. Mission Fulfillment
  12. Moving the Dial
  13. Outcome (immediate, short-term, intermediate, long-term)
  14. Result
  15. Return on Investment
  16. Social Impact
  17. Success
  18. Value

What people get from you

Ultimately, whatever you call it, impact is about what people get from working with you. The most effective impact to measure is the immediate impact – what people walk out of your door with.
This will be achievements (e.g., a credential or a business plan), new knowledge, new skills, new abilities or access to things they didn’t have before. Then you need to know if they have the confidence and motivation to make changes in their life going forward.

Impacts on the future

Just to make things confusing, there are other impacts a nonprofit or funder are aiming for. Examples might be community-level change, also called systems change, also called moving the dial.

These are impact that emerge over time, and which result from lots and lots of people benefiting from social programs, leaving with impact, and doing something with that impact.

Collectively, we are all contributing to how the future will unfold. An infinite number of things will affect and alter the path toward a better future – in both positive and negative ways.

Thank you! Nonprofit professionals and philanthropists are getting out of bed every single day in partnership toward a common vision for the future based on values.

This is a future that is better for all of us!

Good luck out there! I’m rooting for you!

– Maryfrances

Your ImpactStory™ Coach

Learn more in the ImpactStory Academy!

Partnerships for Strategic Impact®

At Partnerships for Strategic Impact®, I have all the tools to build out the structures and strategies you need for collecting actionable impact data; I train staff in how to use them, analyze data, and make action steps for change; I teach you to tell powerful impact stories. My goal is your sustainability: I provide just the right amount of coaching and ongoing support to ensure success.

This is within reach. It’s not harder than managing your budget. Plus, you, your funders, and the people you serve deserve to know more about the value your organization delivers.

If you’re reading this, then you’re already part of my network. Schedule some time on my calendar. There’s no sales pitch and no obligation. Just curiosity and answering your questions. I am the seasoned program-evaluation, program-development, data-storytelling consultants you need, right in your back pocket. I am here to bring order to the process of figuring out how to track and use your impact story.

– Maryfrances

Your ImpactStory™ Coach

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