Return on Investment in the Social Sector
Funding partners want to invest in organizations and programs most likely to succeed in helping people – not because those programs make money. Because “helping people” isn’t easily monetized (though many try!), a critical part of nonprofit storytelling is helping funders understand why and how their investment results in lasting change. Defining what it means to help people is a value-driven and data-informed conversation. We have created this document to help you talk to funders about return on investment.
Fund for Shared Insight
Fund for Shared Insight pools financial and other resources to provide grants, coaching, inspiration, and community-building through collaborative philanthropy. Our work reflects our commitment to the kind of listening and learning that values lived experience and advances equity. The overarching goal is that foundations and nonprofits be meaningfully connected to the people and communities most harmed by structural racism and other systemic inequities, and more responsive to their insights and feedback. Listen4Good is a capacity-building initiative of the Fund for Shared Insight that helps direct-service organizations listen and respond to the people and communities at the heart of their work. Listen4Good’s suite of specially designed programs offers the expert tools, resources, and coaching organizations need to build high-quality feedback loops that advance equity and lead to positive changes in the ways they make decisions, deliver services and partner with clients.
Actionable Measurement Guide
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Guide to Actionable Measurement is driven by three basic principles: 1) Measurement should be designed with a purpose in mind — to inform decisions and/or actions; 2) Do not measure everything but strive to measure what matters most; 3) Because the foundation’s work is organized by strategies, the data we gather help us learn and adapt our initiatives and approaches. This guide includes a results matrix, definitions of terms in our results hierarchy, and a set of measurement guidelines intended to shape internal decisions about depth, breadth, and rigor of measurement across grants and within strategies. The guide also highlights the good practices they aspire to follow to be good stewards and not increase the reporting burden faced by our grantees or distract from their work.
Key Steps in Outcome Management
This is the first in a Urban Institute series of guides to help nonprofit organizations that wish to introduce or improve their efforts to focus on the results of their services. This first guide, entitled Key Steps, provides an overview of the outcome management process, identifying specific steps and providing suggestions for examining and using the outcome information
Common Results Catalog
The GuideStar Common Results Catalog allows organizations to measure progress and results. Since the metrics your organization shares are your choice, they should reflect what you already collect and use. To help you think about them, the Common Results Catalog was created. This catalog contains all of the metrics currently in our database—by subject area—developed in consultation with teams of experts. Browse the catalog to see what metrics make sense for your organization. If you don’t find a metric that fits, you can add a custom metric.