Part 1: How Project GROWS Sets Up Their Impact Story

They are smashing it!


April 23, 2024

Maryfrances Porter

Megan Marshall, Jeremy Starn, and Nicole Barrows at Project GROWS were part of the ImpactStory Academy last fall (2023). They have taken what they learned and run with it!

To celebrate them and help you see what’s possible, I’m writing a blog series sharing their successes using the ImpactStory™ Strategy.

Today, we’re starting with the first step of the ImpactStory™ StrategyMapping Out Your Strategy. There are two parts to this step, and the first is creating a Strong Framework using my innovative Strategic Impact Map™.

A Strategic Impact Map™ is literally the outline for your impact stories. 


What is a Strategic Impact Map™?

Whether you have fully articulated it yet or not, there is an intentional, strategic way your organization goes about fulfilling its mission. As the name implies, a Strategic Impact Map™ articulates exactly how your mission is fulfilled through the impact your programs and activities generate. 

A Strategic Impact Map™ is an improvement on traditional logic models. Traditional logic models are centered on “inputs” (i.e., the resources nonprofits are seeking from funders).

A Strategic Impact Map™ centers on what’s most important to the social sector: Mission. 


The Importance of Mission-driven Solutions

Importantly, a Strategic Impact Map™ groups programs and activities by the impacts are meant to achieve. These groups of programs and activities are call Mission-driven Solutions.

Mission-driven Solutions allow you to (a) track the cost of impacts, and (b) know what programs need tweaking if you are not getting the impacts you hope for.

A Strategic Impact Map™ is a social sector business plan for mission fulfillment!

Here’s Project GROWS’ Strategic Impact Map. Today, we will look at the top half of their Map. In the next blog, we will talk about the bottom half. And in the blog after that, we will understand how to create a citation list that supports storytelling.

Project GRWOS’ Mission-driven Solutions

Project GROWS’ mission is to “Grow a healthy community by connecting all people to nutritious foods.”  (I love food equity work!)

Project GROWS has four Mission-driven Solutions which, together, achieve their mission.

To ensure they grow a healthy community by connecting all people to nutritious foods, Project Grows:

(1) ensures people have access to healthy foods and

(2) that they know how to grow, prepare, and eat those foods; Project Grows also

(3) supports local farms and

(4) collaborates with others to strengthen the food system.


Mission-driven Solutions Have Unique Programs and Impacts

Importantly, each Mission-driven Solution has its own, unique programs and impacts: programs and impacts are not shared between Solutions. But you and I both know that the overall impact of the organization is stronger because of how the Solutions work together!

Here’s how Project GROWS state their Mission-driven Solutions. Notice how the Mission-driven Solutions are worded to give you an idea of (a) the programs and activities involved in each and (b) what immediate impacts each is focused on.  

  1. Providing equitable access to affordable and nutritious food to support healthy food choices.
  1. Providing food education to increase knowledge, skills, and confidence in growing, cooking, and eating healthy foods.
  1. To support our farming community in growing and sustaining a thriving local food system.
  1. Collaborating and sharing resources to strengthen their community’s collecting ability to improve health.


How Mission-driven Solutions fit in a Strategic Impact Map™

Here is the top half of Project Grows’ Strategic Impact Map. You can see all the programs and activities included in each Mission-driven Solution. A Strategic Impact Map™ also lists all the Resources Project GROWS needs to actually implement their work (these are “inputs” in the language of traditional logic models)!

Typically, I think of a Strategic Impact Map™ as inward facing and which helps an organization be clear about their common language and measurement. 

However, because they rock, Project GGROWS went a step further and created this cool outward-facing graphic of their Mission-driven Solutions. It quickly communicates to the public literally everything they do!


What’s Next in this Blog Series

In the next blog, I’ll show you how Megan, Jeremy, and Nicole sorted their Productivity and Immediate Impact under each Mission-driven Solution (aka “outputs” and “short-term outcomes” in the language of traditional logic models).

FYI – Strategic Impact Maps™ are the focus of Sessions 2, 3, and 4 in the ImpactStory™ Academy.



Thank you for all you do to support thriving communities!

– 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 tracking and using impact. I train social sector staff in how to use these tools, in how to analyze data, in how to make action steps for change, and how 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 partner 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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By Published On: April 24th, 2024Categories: Blog - Solid FrameworkComments Off on Part 1: How Project GROWS Sets Up Their Impact Story