How They Transformed Advocacy Services at JABA

November 29, 2021

By Maryfrances Porter & Alison Nagel

You know we love a good story, and we’ve got one for you!

We have been working with Ginger Dillard, the Director of Advocacy Services at the Jefferson Area Board for Aging (JABA) for about six

Sample Strategic Impact Map for Housing for All

thousand years. Back in 2015 Ginger came to a Strategic Impact Map™ workshop, much like the one we are hosting on Tuesday, 12/7/2021 11am – 1pm EST (don’t miss it – registration closes at midnight on 12/4/2021!). Afterwards, she asked us to come build Strategic Impact Maps for all the departments within her Advocacy Services area. So, we did. And then we did again in 2021!

For the last couple of weeks, we’ve been talking about a Strategic Impact Map™ being a framework for telling your most powerful impact story. It’s a one-

page document that tells an efficient story of, not only why and how your organization does good, but also how you are measuring it!

If you want to see what a sample Strategic Impact Map looks like, you can find it here. You can also watch a short video that gives you a little more information about what it is! But for now, let’s hear Ginger’s story.

We Did it Together

Instead of creating a Strategic Impact Map for the whole JABA organization, we created FOUR, one for each of the departments working under Ginger, which you can see here: Volunteer Services, Insurance Counseling, Ombudsman Program, and Options Counseling.

She and I sat down with each of the managers to create the Maps, and then used the Maps to create dashboards (in Excel!) to capture productivity, and efficient surveys to capture impact (aka the success and value of the work done).

Ginger describes the process this way, “We used to just do ‘bean counting,’ how much of this and that we did. Now with the Strategic Impact Maps, we are able to actually track the impact of the work we do. It’s so much more informative and powerful!”

Why Ginger LOVES Strategic Impact Maps

A photo of Ginger at JABA“JABA developed Strategic Impact Maps for many of its programs. The Maps then drove the creation of new tracking for updated outcome measures and improved funding applications. We were tracking too many and often the wrong outcomes or outputs. Creating Strategic Impact Maps helped up develop the language we needed around our services and focused on the outputs and outcomes that have relevance.”

Together, we helped Ginger and her team develop dashboards (in just good old Excel) where program managers could track their productivity and survey data. When Ginger sits down with her managers, they are able to concretely talk about what’s working, what’s changing, and what needs to be done!

“The Strategic Impact Maps have had a very positive effect on how our organization looks at measurable outcomes and the tools by which we can measure our accomplishments or identify areas where the results were not in alignment with our intentions. We review them yearly to ensure we are focused on the right goals and measures. It has helped to give our staff a common language and break down silos so we can better understand one anothers intention, goals, activities and outcomes.”

And review them we did! Due to staffing changes and the impact of COVID, rather than doing strategic planning with her staff, we all sat down again to refresh each department’s Map, their surveys, and their dashboards.

What’s more, the Strategic Impact Maps have made fundraising and communication easier: “The Maps have also given our philanthropy department a clear set of outcomes and outputs that we can reasonably track. It eliminates the creation of outcomes in the moments which are quickly forgotten.”

Does this sound like what you need too?

Do you want to be a leader like Ginger? Well, we have three options.

Solution #1:  Join us for a 2-Hour, Live WorkshopImpactStory Coaching is all about tailored individual and group coaching in impact storytelling for nonprofits

We are offering an in-depth, live, online workshop where you learn everything you need to know to build your very own Strategic Impact Map on Tuesday, 12/7/2021 11am – 1pm EST. Registration closes at midnight on 12/4/2021.

After this workshop you will walk away with:

  • A deep understanding of all the parts of a Strategic Impact Map.
  • An outline of the Strategies your organization uses. (This is the most important part of creating a Strategic Impact Map!)
  • A detailed guide for creating a Strategic Impact Map at your organization (sold separately for $150, but free when you register for the workshop).
  • A case study which gives you a concrete example to base your Strategic Impact Map on.
  • Templates in Word you can use for creating your own Strategic Impact Map.

Solution #2: Get Our Guide

Can’t make the webinar? No problem, you can use this step-by-step Guide to create your own Strategic Impact Map. The Guide includes details on each of the parts of the Map, instructions for facilitating small group meetings to create a Map, and how to translate your Strategic Impact Map™ into a Theory of Change or Logic Model any time you’re asked.

Solution #3: We Can Work with You Personally

Like we have done for dozens and dozens of others, we can work with you, your staff, and/or your Board to develop a Strategic Impact Map. Drop us a line, and we can figure out exactly what would work best for your organization!

ImpactStory™ Coaching

At Partnerships for Strategic Impact®, we focus on coaching, training, and supporting small- and medium-sized nonprofits in telling powerful impact stories.  You’ve worked hard to develop honest, trusting relationships with all your stakeholders and funders, and you have the powerful testimonials highlighting how you’ve changed lives. But we all know numbers still matter.

You really can tell the whole story of how your organization is improving people’s lives. You really can talk about how people can take what they learn and make lasting change. And you really can talk about how your work is done in service of improving community conditions for everyone.

This is within reach. Your funders and the people being served deserve to know more about the value your organization delivers.

We Get It

Your work is value driven. Its value lies in the impact of your work on the people served. Let us help you tell your impact story. Reach out, answering questions is our specialty.

— Maryfrances & Alison

ImpactStory™ Coaches

Want more? Check out our Blogs and Videos.

We also curate and annotate resources just for small- and medium-sized nonprofits. Check out our Resource Library.

Looking for excellent consultants to help you with your next project?  Search (or contribute to!) our growing directory of Recommended Consultants – recommended by and for small- and medium- sized nonprofits.