A Strategy for Co-building Knowledge


November 21, 2023

Maryfrances Porter

Usually I focus my blogs on the struggles nonprofits face in tracking and using impact. Today, I’m focusing on funders.

As the the year comes to an end, maybe so is the annual grant cycle. Maybe, as you receive and read stacks of grant reports, you find yourself wondering…

How can we create even more trusting relationships: so we can get really honest feedback, and so we can truly collaborate in social design for achieving real systems change?

How do we ground and structure discussions about goals, progress, and community impact?

How do we ask nonprofits for data without burdening them?

How do we know what questions to ask of the data we do get?

What if we don’t have the data to answer our questions?

How do we track the impact of our portfolios? How do we talk about the impact we are making? Can we even claim to be making an impact?

Where Answers Lay

Private sector markets have developed well-established structures, defined metrics, and dedicated organizational capacity that support such discussions. This enables collective decision-making aimed at increasing return on investment; but these are missing in the social sector.

What if… we established uncomplicated, sector-specific structures, defined metrics, and capacity for tracking, analyzing, and using impact data?

What if …  this included strategies for gleaning insights and making data-driven decisions?

And, what if … all this was accessible, affordable, and sustainable for even the smallest social sector organizations?

As easy to resource and understand as budget information, such a strategy could facilitate authentically collaborative learning and co-building of knowledge.


ImpactStory Strategy

The uncomplicated, three-steps of the innovative ImpactStory™ Strategy includes all the tools and resources needed to create and sustain impact tracking and storytelling processes that lead to informed action.

Not the practice of program evaluation science, but informed by it, the Strategy provides the structure, defined metrics, and familiar language which allows nonprofits, and their funders, to be clear about the specific impact they are working toward, to be confident in the data being collected and how to understand and use it, and to tell compelling impact stories that move people to action.

The Strategy ensures social sector partners always have quality metrics to reflect on, structures in place for turning data into powerful action, and their impact story at their fingertips.

– 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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