Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact
Foundation Center: Knowledge to build on.

Browse Toolkit

Name Organization
A Guide to Actionable MeasurementBill & Melinda Gates FoundationOffering useful best practices and examples, this guide is the result of a year-long cross-foundation effort to develop common principles, approaches, and taxonomies to help Gates staff decide how best to allocate time and resources for data collection and analysis. Three principles guide the Gates Foundation's approach to actionable measurement: 1) Measurement should inform specific decisions and/or actions; 2) We do not measure everything, but we do strive to measure what matters most; 3) The data we gather help us learn and adapt our initiatives and strategies. The guide includes a results matrix, results hierarchy, definitions of related terms, and measurement guidelines intended to shape internal decisions about the depth, breadth, and rigor of measurement across grants and within strategies. It also highlights the best practices the Gates Foundation aspires to follow to be good stewards of our resources and not increase the reporting burden of grantees or distract them from their work.
A Practical Guide for Engaging Stakeholders in Developing Evaluation QuestionsFSGThis practical guide offers best practices that encourage soliciting input from stakeholders early in the evaluation design process to address specific stakeholder interests for improving program effectiveness, influencing policy decisions, and instituting behavioral and organizational change. The guide describes a five-step process for engaging stakeholders in developing evaluation questions, and includes four worksheets to facilitate the planning and implementation of a stakeholder engagement process.
Acumen Fund ScorecardAcumen FundThis method tracks progress on outcomes which is assessed in terms of defined outcome milestones and benchmarks. Progress on selected outcomes is interpreted as likely to lead to investment "impact."
Alliance for Justice Advocacy Capacity Tool (ACT)Bolder Advocacy project of Alliance for JusticeThis tool assesses the organizational capacity and specifically measures the advocacy capacity of a prospective or current grantee. The tool includes 18 indicators divided into four categories: advocacy goals, plans and strategies; conducting advocacy; advocacy avenues; and organizational operations to sustain advocacy. The tool describes capacities to which an organization should aspire if it wants to institutionalize its advocacy work. Sample measures include "the organization has a well written agenda, adopted by its board, that identifies the organization's priorities (such as issue priorities) for legislative and other types of advocacy."
Application Perception Report (APR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe APR tool is a survey that allows foundations to understand the candid perspectives of declined applicants on a number of important dimensions. Individual reports include comparative data based on applicant perceptions of more than 25 foundations.
Appreciative Inquiry ApproachAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesAppreciative Inquiry is a methodology used by groups to cooperatively explore what is working well in an organization, so they may plan and implement further positive action. This process encourages change in other areas of the organization that may not be functioning as well. AI involves a pre-scripted approach to interviewing stakeholders, leading discussions, and creating shared goals, to focus an organization’s productive energy towards mutually positive outcomes. Planned exercises in visualizing “what could be”, as well as hands-on activities, and mind mapping techniques, are directed towards defining objectives. The goals are then implemented by creating concrete steps toward putting agreed upon changes into practice. The AI method inspires mutual imagination, innovation and creative thinking, to side-step habitual obstacles and ineffective ways of thinking about challenging issues, promoting positive action.
Apricot Outcomes Achievement SoftwareCommunity TechKnowledgeThe Apricot Outcomes Achievement Software is a tool for human services, arts, environmental, and advocacy nonprofit programs looking to collect, maintain, and report client/consumer, service and performance data - with minimum expense and maximum impact measurement. Nonprofit users can attract new funding with donor and volunteer tracking and outcomes management tools. The Outcomes Palette also includes visually engaging and easy-to-use bar and pie charts for outcomes reporting to stakeholders.
Ashoka Measuring Effectiveness QuestionnaireAshokaThis tool aims to understand the impact of entrepreneurs receiving funds to do social sector work. It uses an annual self-response survey designed to track the progress of cohorts of Ashoka Fellows over time, distributed among groups of social entrepreneurs at the five- and ten-year anniversary of their Ashoka fellowship. The survey employs a group of proxy indicators which track data that can be aggregated across divergent fields of work, such as frequency with which the fellows' work has been replicated by other organizations and level of influence the fellow has had on public policy. Ashoka staff also carries out case studies with a subset of fellows to obtain more in-depth information.
Assessing and Building Your Organization's CapacityCapable Partners Program (CAP), NGO ConnectThis best practice provides information and a set of assessment activities that can help an organization better understand its policies and managerial, financial, and administrative systems. Should you decide to conduct an organizational self-assessment, this chapter provides guidance on how to examine your organization’s assets, such as funding, reputation, and skills, as well as the activities and the services you provide. Taken together this information will help to create a capacity-building action plan, which will enable your organization to more effectively carry out its programs and serve the communities in which you work.
Assessing Number and Type of PoliciesAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures improved policies. It takes the form of a phone survey and can be used over time to see if policies have changed for individual organizations or at a population level. Indicators of improved policies include number of organizations that have adopted policies around a particular issue and/or the number of policies that conform to elements of effective policy. Survey items address 1) whether an organization has officially adopted a policy 2) the elements of the policy 3) how the policy is enforced 4) perceived effectiveness of the policy 5) satisfaction with the policy.
Assessment and Improvement IndicatorsVenture Philanthropy PartnersThe VPP Assessment and Improvement Indicators is a tool that conveys the quality of performance an organization has in 13 specific organizational categories and how much it has improved and changed in each area. Ratings are based on an initial assessment of capacity using the Organizational Capacity and Assessment Tool and other, internal tools used during the investment selection process. Progress is assessed according to annual performance of mutually established goals, a re-assessment of capacity, and the best judgment of partners. The Indicators are reviewed, discussed, and thoroughly vetted with the leadership of the nonprofit organization.
BACO RatioAcumen FundThis tool quantifies a potential investment's social output and compares it to the universe of existing charitable options for that explicit social issue. The BACO calculation is driven by three factors: financial leverage, enterprise efficiencies, and technology leverage.
Balanced ScorecardNew Profit, Inc.The Balanced Scorecard provides a performance management methodology. It measures operational performance in terms of four outcome perspectives: financial, customer, business process, and learning growth. Metrics used include CAGR of revenue, compound annual growth rate of "lives touched," and other customized measures of program quality as well as metrics related to building critical organizational capacity and competencies.
Base of Pyramid Impact Assessment FrameworkWilliam Davidson InstituteBase of Pyramid (BoP) Impact Assessment Framework is a method that helps organizations better understand and improve their on-the-ground poverty alleviation impacts. Utilizing this framework provides venture leaders with a structured process to enhance positive impacts and mitigate negative impacts. The BoP Framework provides managers with a robust and systematic approach to conducting: 1) a strategic analysis to gain a deep understanding of their holistic set of impacts, and 2) a performance analysis to identify, track, and improve key indicators over time.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance SealBetter Business BureauThis tool is an accreditation designating that organizations meet BBB's code of business practices: build trust, advertise honestly, tell the truth, be transparent, honor promises, be responsive, safeguard privacy, embody integrity.
Benchmark ReportRoot CauseThis tool is a report that provides social impact investors with a comprehensive comparison of organizations using a similar intervention model to address a social issue, highlighting those which are the most efficient, effective, and sustainable. It includes an overview of the organizations using a similar approach, comparative evaluation of organizational performance based upon general and subsector-specific indicators, and clear recommendation of which organizations would most benefit from investment.
Beneficiary Perception Report (BPR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThis is a tool that gathers feedback from program beneficiaries. CEP's current work on beneficiary perceptions is focused on students of foundation-supported high schools through a student survey project called YouthTruth. Developed in partnership with The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, YouthTruth systematically collects meaningful feedback and reports it back in ways that can influence decision making by funders, as well as by schools, school districts, and school networks.
Benefit-Cost AnalysisAbt AssociatesThis tool expresses costs and social impacts of an investment in monetary terms. Quantification is achieved according to one or more of three measures: NPV (the aggregate value of all costs, revenues and social impacts discounted), benefit-cost ratio (the discounted value of revenues and positive impacts divided by discounted value of costs and negative impacts) and internal rate of return (the net value of revenues plus impacts expressed as an annual percentage return on the total costs of the investment).
Benefit-Cost RatioRobin Hood FoundationThis tool calculates a benefit/cost ratio for a Robin Hood program, whose goal is to eradicate poverty in New York City. It does so by applying a common measure of success for programs of all types: how much a grant to a program boosts the future earnings (or, more generally, living standards) of poor families above that which they would have earned in the absence of Robin Hood’s help. It then divides the estimated earnings boost by the size of Robin Hood’s grant. The ratio for each grant measures the value it delivers to poor people per dollar of cost to Robin Hood.
Billboard Survey FormAnnie E. Casey Foundation, FACEThis is a tool that measures improved policies using a form that records the changes in amount and location of alcohol advertising.
BluePrint 1.0Blue Ridge FoundationThis workbook offers a methodology to create a relatively straightforward set of measures that an organization can use to work through critical areas of organizational development. It is not intended to represent all of the operating actions or delegated tasks within an organization. As an organization fills in the worksheets, it should focus on reaching greater clarity around a small set of core directions and measures.
Board Service ROI TrackerTrue Impact (with Points of Light/HandsOn Network)Based on True Impact's Volunteerism ROI Tracker, this web-based tool tailors its analysis to board service programs to allow non-profit organizations and socially conscious businesses to analyze their community outreach by examining social and business-related ROI. It allows users to analyze the value of service from leaders and decision makers and offers suggestions for improving their outputs and outcomes, as well as benchmarks for comparison.
Born Learning Washington Monthly Media Tracking FormAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures strengthened base of media support. It tracks the amount of campaign-generated media visibility that has been developed - noting dimensions such as type of media (TV, radio, print, other) and type of placement (PSA, news story, op-ed, programming).
Build Initiative ChecklistAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Build, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures strengthened base of public support. It uses a self-assessment checklist to assess progress in developing early learning systems. The checklist lists important champions - corporate leaders and economic development heads, local businesses and chambers of commerce, law enforcement and corrections, faith communities etc - and rates where they are in terms of mobilization and advocacy activities.
Building a Performance Measurement SystemRoot CauseThis methodology offers a comprehensive, flexible, customizable framework for performance management that can complement planning or strategic tools, such as the Theory of Change and logic models. This approach can help streamline existing measurement efforts or provide an efficient approach to building a performance measurement system from the ground up. Root Cause's how-to guide, "Building a Performance Measurement System", describes a five-step process for building or refining a performance measurement system that will serve as an essential tool for assessing an organization’s progress in carrying out its mission and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Building Future Leaders Diagnostic SurveyThe Bridgespan GroupThis free diagnostic tool is designed to help social sector leaders assess the strengths and weaknesses of their organization’s leadership development and succession planning for senior leader positions. The survey includes 31 statements that relate to 5 core processes, including: 1) engagement of current leaders; 2) understanding future needs; 3) developing leaders effectively; 4) hiring leaders externally; and 5) measuring and improving practices. Organizations rate their current performance and receive a diagnostic results report with their own responses as well as the average responses of other survey takers, in order to help identify their organization’s areas for improvement and target their actions accordingly. An accompanying guide, "What’s Your “Plan A” for Growing Future Leaders?" features best practices from the field to help organizations think differently and address leadership development gaps.
Campaign Champions Data Collection ToolAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures strengthened base of public support. This form tracks and measures the number of "champions" (people who take actions to advance the public will) engaged and the actions these champions undertake as a part of the Born Learning campaign.
Capabilities ProfilerKeystone AccountabilityThis tool is a survey that helps organizations and their constituents assess three organizational capabilities: accountability, strategy, and operational integrity.
Changes in Attitudes Focus GroupAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a best practice that suggests use of a focus group to measure a shift in social norms. This best practice provides example questions regarding attitudes about welfare such as: "What do you think the government's role should be in relation to poverty and poor people?"; "What should the federal government's priorities be for the welfare system?"; "Do you think the current welfare system encourages or discourages poor people to find work? Why?"
Charity Analysis FrameworkNew Philanthropy CapitalThe Charity Analysis Framework is a tool that evaluates grantees in the human welfare sector. Its analysis focuses on several criteria within six key areas: activities, results, leadership, staff and other resources, finances and ambition, in order to answer the following questions: 1) Is the charity tackling the most important issues?; 2) Is it tackling them in ways that make a significant difference?; 3) Has it got ambition, leadership and resources to continue to be effective? The results are also displayed in a Grading Grid, ranging from Excellent to Below Expectations.
Charity Navigator RatingCharity NavigatorThis is a tool that rates charities. It evaluates two broad areas of financial health, organizational efficiency and organizational capacity. It uses a set of financial ratios or performance categories to rate each of these two areas, and issues an overall rating that combines the charity’s performance in both areas. The ratings show givers how efficiently Charity Navigator believes a charity will use their support today, and to what extent the charities are growing their programs and services over time. In the future, Charity Navigator intends to provide a measurement of each charity’s potential to deliver social value.
Charting ImpactIndependent Sector, BBB Wise Giving Alliance and GuideStar USAThis best practice effort proposes a common language and framework for organizations of various sizes, and of various missions and activities, to consider and communicate their impact through Charting Impact Reports. At the heart of Charting Impact are five simple yet powerful questions that encourage strategic thinking about how to achieve long-term goals. Responding to them creates a unique report that shares concise, detailed information about plans and progress with key stakeholders, including the public. Charting Impact does not specify what to measure or how to assess performance, and participating is intended to complement, not replace, the other goal-setting and planning efforts of the organization.
Checklist for Reviewing a Randomized Controlled Trial or a Social Program or ProjectCoalition for Evidence-Based PolicyThis best practice is a checklist of key items to look for in reading the results of a randomized controlled trial of a social program, project, or strategy (“intervention”) to assess whether it produced valid evidence on the intervention’s effectiveness.
Civic Engagement Measurement System (CEMS)The Alliance for Children and FamiliesCivic Engagement Measurement System (CEMS) is a tool in the form of three surveys designed to help nonprofit human service organizations measure the impact of their civic engagement efforts. Participating organizations gain access to automated administration, scoring, and reporting services related to implementing the measurement system. The surveys (starting on p. 22 of the report) contain a measure completed by the organization itself, a measure completed by key informants in the community that are familiar with the work of the organization, and a measure completed by constituents that are served as clients or service recipients by the organization. The CEMS project was released in partnership with United Neighborhood Centers of America, Behavioral Pathway Systems, and Keystone Accountability, and with support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Cluster EvaluationW.K. Kellogg FoundationThis is a best practice that tells foundations to seek feedback across a group of projects or programs to identify common threads and themes that, having cross-confirmation, take on greater significance. Cluster evaluators provide feedback on commonalities in program design as well as innovative methodologies used by projects during the life of the initiative.
Community Health Assessment aNd Group Evaluation (CHANGE)Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThe CHANGE tool helps community teams (such as coalitions) develop their community action plan. This tool walks community team members through the assessment process and helps define and prioritize possible areas of improvement. Having this information as a guide, community team members can create sustainable, community-based improvements that address the root causes of chronic diseases and related risk factors. It can be used annually to assess current policy, systems, and environmental change strategies and offer new priorities for future efforts. CHANGE is a data-collection tool that allows community team members to track progress across a five-point scale, so incremental changes can be noted. As problem areas are identified, health-related policies are implemented, and systems and environmental change strategies are put in place, team members can document the community-level changes.
Community Members' Perceptions about Prioritization of Issues SurveyAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis tool is a survey that measures a shift in social norms. This specific survey elicits data community members' view of how others in the community prioritize issues compared to their personal prioritization. Example questions are: How seriously do you think your community treats each of the following problems? How seriously do you treat each of the following problems? Rated from 1-4 (not very seriously to seriously). Problems listed include living wage, early education, access to health care, child abuse, K-12 education, environmental issues, transportation, privacy issues, drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy.
Community of LearnersTCC GroupThis best practice is an approach to evaluation that emphasizes a working group of diverse stakeholders who bring different perspectives to the experience. The process involves 1) assessing organizational readiness to participate in this approach; 2) assembling an evaluation team; 3) assigning roles; 4) assigning consultant responsibilities; and 5) assigning client responsibilities.
Community Tool BoxWork Group for Community Health and Development at the University of KansasThe Community Tool Box is a set of best practices that provides more than 7,000 pages of practical information to support community health and development work. The focus is on specific practical skills, such as conducting a meeting or participatory evaluation. The Evaluating the Initiative section provides a framework and guidance for developing an evaluation of a community health program or initiative. The Examples section provides useful case studies showing how various projects and programs have used the resources in the tool box to conduct their own evaluations.
Comparative Board Report (CBR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe Comparative Board Report (CBR) is a board self-assessment tool that includes comparative data gathered through large-scale research on foundation boards. CEP provides a facilitated discussion of CBR results and implications that offers boards an opportunity to closely examine their functioning in a number of areas, including board dynamics, capabilities and expertise of board members, and the board’s role in strategy development.
Comparative Constituency FeedbackKeystone AccountabilityThis is a tool for obtaining feedback on a program's perception by various stakeholders (it can be applied at different points along the development value chain, between funders and grantees, and between organizations and their primary constituents). It uses a questionnaire to collect perceptions from organizations’ constituents on key aspects of the organizations’ performance. The questionnaire is administered simultaneously to a comparable constituency group for a cohort of similar organizations.
Compass Index Sustainability AssessmentAtKisson, Inc.This tool determines the level of sustainability of an organization's operations. Primarily used by cities, communities, companies, or organizations, this versatile tool has several versions, including: (1) for large companies, to assess them from the outside; (2) for SMEs and investment targets assessed in detail, from the inside; (3) cities and communities, using a multi-stakeholder development process; and (4) organizations, foundations, schools and other entities. The Compass clusters indicators into four components of sustainability: N=Nature, E=Economy, S=Society, and W=Well-being; for institutional evaluation, a fifth category is added: Synergy. Within each of the categories, between 5 and 20 parameters covering different facets are measured. For company assessments, responses to each section are weighted according to main areas of activity and impact to arrive at a score of 100 possible points. Metrics assess energy usage, material flows, community interactions - and are both qualitative and quantitative.
Considering EvaluationActKnowledgeThis document provides overall guidance about methods of evaluation and assessment for social justice and movement building work. It includes case studies and worksheets to help outline an evaluation, starting on p. 11.
Core Capacity Assessment Tool (CCAT)TCC GroupCCAT is an online survey tool that allows an organization to analyze its organizational strengths. It looks at four core capacities: 1) adaptive capacity: the ability of a nonprofit to monitor, assess, and respond to and create internal and external changes; 2) leadership capacity: the ability of all organizational leaders to create and sustain the vision, inspire, model, prioritize, make decisions, provide direction and innovate; 3) management capacity: the ability of a nonprofit organization to ensure the effective and efficient use of organizational resources; and 4) technical capacity: the ability of a nonprofit to implement key organizational and programmatic functions.
Cost Benefit AnalysisBill & Melinda Gates FoundationThis tool monetizes the benefits and costs associated with an intervention. It takes the perspective of society as a whole and considers the costs and dollar-valued outcomes aggregated across all stakeholders (government sector or individuals as taxpayers, program participants or private individuals, the rest of society). The output from cost-benefit analysis can be measures of net benefits (benefits – costs), the ratio of benefits to cost (benefit-cost ratios), or the internal rate of return (the rate of growth a project is expected to generate).
Cost Effectiveness AnalysisBill & Melinda Gates FoundationThis tool calculates a ratio of cost to a non-monetary benefit or outcome. The focus may be on one domain of impact (e.g. crime, student achievement) or multiple areas of impact. However, measures of cost-effectiveness can only account for one area of program impact at a time. Since program impacts are measured in natural units (e.g. life year saved, child graduating from high school), unless those units are common across all areas of impact, it is not possible to aggregate across them.
Cost per ImpactCenter for High Impact PhilanthropyThis tool aims to measure how much change costs as measured by the investments made by philanthropists or other sources to realize the impact (measured by specific objective criteria for success).
Cradle to Cradle CertificationCradle to CradleCradle to Cradle offers a tool that certifies companies that meet a standard for using environmentally safe and healthy materials; design for material reutilization, such as recycling or composting; the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency; efficient use of water, and maximum water quality associated with production; and instituting strategies for social responsibility. If a candidate product achieves the necessary criteria, it is certified as a Basic, Silver, Gold or Platinum product and can be branded as Cradle to Cradle CertifiedCM.
Criteria for Philanthropy at Its BestNational Committee for Responsive PhilanthropyThis best practice provides guidelines on values (e.g., provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars to benefit lower-income communities, provides at least 25 percent of its grant dollars for advocacy), effectiveness (e.g., provides at least 50 percent of its grant dollars for general operating support), ethics (maintains an engaged board of at least five people who include among them a diversity of perspectives including of the community it serves and who serve without compensation), and commitment (pays out at least 6 percent of its assets annual in grants, invests at least 25 percent of its assets in ways that support its mission) criteria for evaluating philanthropy. It does not include scoring system, relative weighting system, or ranking.
Cultural Data ProjectThe Pew Charitable TrustsThe Cultural Data Project is an online management tool designed to strengthen arts and cultural organizations. It gathers data on the sector, allowing participating organizations, researchers, advocates, and grantmakers to track trends and benchmark progress.
Dalberg ApproachDalberg Global Development AdvisorsThe Dalberg Approach is a customized performance evaluation method that starts with development of a project's theory of change and considers each segment of the impact value chain. The information is then benchmarked often against a traditional business to tease out the value of using a double bottom line approach.
Developing a Theory of ChangeKeystone AccountabilityThis is a best practice to obtain clarity about what needs to happen to achieve and sustain the changes, or outcomes, that want to be seen (mapping the outcome pathways to success) and to identify who (people or institutions) can influence these outcomes positively or negatively (mapping the activity ecosystem). It sets the framework for identifying impact, intermediary outcome and process indicators.
Development Outcome Tracking System (DOTS)International Finance Corporation (IFC)DOTS is a tool that measures the impact of investments on stakeholders and rates financial, economic, environmental, social performance, and private sector development impact. It identifies standard performance goals indicators and measures the rate of achievement in these assigned indicators against benchmarks and timelines.
DevResultsCaudillWebDevResults is a web-based project management tool specially designed for the international development community. It’s a software application that offers tools for monitoring & evaluation, mapping, budgeting, project management, and collaboration.
Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) StandardThe Donor Committee for Enterprise DevelopmentThe Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) Standard offers a best practice by outlining the key elements for practically and credibly estimating the results of Private Sector Development programmes, in a process which can be managed by programmes internally. It involves a few common impact indicators to ensure that donors will be able to add up their results across country programmes. The Standard is being piloted on a multi-agency basis; the DCED invites new programmes to join in adopting the approach.
Donor Perception Report (DPR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe Donor Perception Report (DPR) is a tool that explores, on a comparative basis, donors’ perceptions of community foundations to which they contribute. The DPR is based on a customizable survey, covering topics from donor preferences and motivations to the services and resources that are most valuable to community foundation donors. Through the DPR, community foundations are able to identify actionable strategies for most effectively engaging their donors.
Due Diligence Framework for Scaling InitiativesSocial Impact Exchange, Alliance for Social InvestmentThe Due Diligence Framework for Scaling Initiatives (beta) provides funders with guidelines and best practices on basic topics to cover when doing due diligence on scaling initiative. A supplement for funders assessing the scalability of a program or social investment, the framework is geared toward program replication and practice dissemination models of scaling. Currently in beta, revisions are expected as the framework is reviewed, used, and modified. Additional due diligence frameworks for policy initiatives, systems change efforts, and other models of scaling are also in the works.
Echoing Green Mid-Year and Year End ReportsEchoing GreenThis is a tool to assess the ongoing impact of an organization receiving funds to do social sector work. It uses a mid-year and year end survey to assess program development, organizational development, community outreach, program sustainability, personal and professional development, and outcome tracking and sustainability.
Ecological FootprintGlobal Footprint NetworkThe Ecological Footprint is a resource accounting tool that measures how much of the biological capacity of the planet is demanded by a given human activity or population. It takes into account six primary areas: cropland, grazing land, fishing grounds, forest, built-up land, and land for carbon absorption. The Ecological Footprint calculator, an application of the Footprint tool, asks a user a series of questions to determine how many global hectares are required for the entity's support - these questions include eating habits, household size, transportation usage, and others.
Efforts to Outcomes (ETO) SoftwareSocial SolutionsETO is a tool that measures the impact of funding. It is a performance management software tool that helps grantees track and report efforts to funders.
Environmental Performance Reporting System (EPRS)Environmental Capital GroupThe EPRS tool provides an annual summary to investors on the actual net environmental benefits of clean technology investments. It first develops an environmental analytical framework for the portfolio company and then finalizes indicators and tracks data when the company begins generating sales.
Evaluating Development Co-OperationOECD DAC Network on Development EvaluationThis is a best practice that offers guidance in developing norms and standards for evaluation in an effort to improve humanitarian aid programs and policy. The approach offers a core set of principles, along with five evaluation criteria: relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability, and a framework for peer reviews and assessment.
Evaluating the Impact of Development Projects on Poverty: A Handbook for PractitionersThe World BankThis best practices handbook provides project managers and policy analysts with the tools needed for evaluating project impact. The handbook presents an overview of concepts and methods, key steps of implementation, analytical techniques through a case study, and a discussion of lessons learned from a set of reviewed evaluations.
Evaluation Plan BuilderInnovation NetworkThis is a method that transfers key data from the Logic Model Builder and moves from goal-setting to identification of evaluation questions, indicators, and data collection strategies for evaluating program outcomes and implementation.
Evaluation Principles and PracticesThe William & Flora Hewlett FoundationA thorough document created for a more comprehensive internal understanding of the role of evaluation at the Hewlett Foundation, "Evaluation Principles and Practices" serves as a guide for foundations and grantees looking to better understand the best practices and principles of evaluation. The document provides a broad overview of different types of evaluations with cursory instruction on implementation in the context of organization-wide adoption. It is organized into four substantive sections: (1) Principles, (2) Organizational Roles, (3) Practice Guide, and (4) Special Evaluation Cases. It also includes a helpful glossary of terms.
Excellence ModelEuropean Foundation for Quality Management This method offers a self-assessment framework for measuring the strengths and areas for improvement of an organization across all of its activities. The term ‘excellence’ is used because the Excellence Model focuses on what an organization does, or could do, to provide an excellent service or product to its customers, service users or stakeholders.
Expected ReturnWilliam and Flora Hewlett FoundationThis is a tool that calculates the expected return of an investment by multiplying (benefit in a perfect world x likelihood of success x philanthropy's contribution)/cost.
External Review of Program Strategy (Getting an Expert View)Doris Duke Charitable FoundationThis is a method to assess foundation strategy and potential for impact. It consists of a wise person review to answer five key questions: 1) Are we addressing critical opportunities and needs in the field? 2) Have we devised appropriate strategies for using these opportunities and meeting these needs? 3) Have we effectively implemented our strategies? 4) What should we consider doing differently in the future? 5) What has been the role and/or contribution of the foundation as a funder in the field? How are the foundation and its grants perceived? The method can be and has included field-wide surveys, commissioned papers by field experts, and expert panel meetings.
Fair Trade CertificationTransFair USAFair Trade Certification is a tool that allows agricultural products to bear the label "fair trade certified." The Fair Trade Certified label is a guarantee that Fair Trade prices and "social premiums"--funds dedicated to community development initiatives such as education, health systems, and women's empowerment projects, as well as productive investments in product quality or related areas--were paid to cooperatives or other farmers' and workers' organizations by U.S.-based companies offering FTC products. These payments are verified by TransFair USA's supply-chain auditing services. TransFair USA's certification process combines desk audits and periodic on-site inspections of U.S. production facilities. In addition, certified products are guaranteed to have been sourced from cooperatives or other organizations in the developing world that meet international standards for environmental performance and progress, democratic and transparent governance, and working conditions. These criteria are verified by regular on-site inspections carried out by TransFair USA's partners in the global Fair Trade certification and labeling network, which spans 21 countries in the global North together with 60 developing nations.
Foundation Performance Assessment FrameworkJames Irvine FoundationThe Performance Assessment Framework is a best practice that enables foundations to monitor progress towards advancing their mission and organizational goals. The James Irvine Foundation’s documentation of this framework can be used to create an individual measurement of a foundation’s impact by establishing clear goals, examining relevant data and assessing progress against desired outcomes in two broad sections: 1) Program Impact, with specific measures and indicators for context, outcomes, and results, learning and refinement; and 2) Institutional Effectiveness, with specific measures and indicators for leadership, constituent feedback, and finance and organization.
Foundation ScorecardRobert Wood Johnson FoundationThe Scorecard is a method for assessing a foundation's program impact, program development, customer service, and human/financial capital. It uses performance indicators (determined by the impact framework) and commissions surveys to find out what grantees think of the Foundation, what experts think the Foundation’s impact is, and what the staff considers to be the Foundation’s strong and weak points.
Foundations of Success Guideline for Effective EvaluationFoundations of SuccessThis is a best practice for monitoring and evaluating systems focused on adaptive management (obtaining the information needed to manage projects) and impact assessments.
Framework for Program EvaluationCenters for Disease Control & PreventionThis best practice offers a framework that outlines steps for program evaluation (engage stakeholders, describe the program, focus the evaluation design, gather credible evidence, justify conclusions, ensure use and share lessons learned) as well as standards (utility, feasibility, propriety, accuracy). While developed for public health programs, the steps and standards are generalizable to evaluation of any effort.
Gender Equality Principles InitiativeSan Francisco Department on the Status of Women, Calvert Group, Ltd., VeritéThe Gender Equality Principles Initiative (GEP Initiative) offers tools to help companies around the world achieve greater gender equality and build more productive workplaces through practical implementation of the Gender Equality Principles (GEP). The GEP Initiative provides companies with practical standards, tools, and resources that can be used to improve gender equality from the factory floor to the boardroom. The Gender Equality Principles address 7 fundamental issues: 1) Employment and Compensation; 2) Work-Life Balance and Career Development; 3) Health, Safety and Freedom from Violence; 4) Management and Governance; 5) Business, Supply Chain, and Marketing Practices; 6) Civic and Community Engagement; and 7) Transparency and Accountability. The GEP Web site offers companies a self-assessment tool that will provide a baseline of a company’s performance on issues of gender equality, identify areas of strength and opportunities for improvement, and deliver extensive tools and resources to assist in the design of an action plan.
Getting to Outcomes™RAND Corporation, University of South Carolina, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionGetting To Outcomes (GTO) provides methods to build capacity, enhance evaluation skills, and facilitate the achievement and documentation of outcomes. It is designed to empower local prevention practitioners to adequately develop and assess their own community-based substance abuse prevention programs. The manual includes 10 specific questions with six focused on planning and four on evaluation, continuous quality improvement, and sustainability. It is supplemented with face-to-face training and on-site technical assistance. RAND also has Web-based interactive tools and additional manuals for preventing underage drinking and teen pregnancy, assisting community positive youth development programs, and guiding program leaders through the process of submitting proposals and allocating funding and developing contracts.
GIRAFEPlanet RatingGIRAFE is a tool that evaluates the performance and institutional risk of microfinance institutions (MFIs). It grades MFI on six areas: governance, information, risk management, activities and services, financing and liquidity, and efficiency and probability. The evaluation is based on the analysis of the MFI's financial performance via financial statements and portfolio quality reports. The evaluation also assesses the institution's management and information system, interviews board members, management team, staff (mainly credit officers) and clients.
GiveWell MethodGiveWellThis is a method that GiveWell employs to identify top charities working towards a particular goal through scanning public tax records, inviting a subset of charities to fill out a survey to provide more information, and rating those charities. It's focused on providing transparency to evaluation.
Global Impact Investing Ratings SystemB LabPowered by the B Impact Ratings System, this tool assesses the social and environmental impact of companies and investment portfolios. It provides ratings similar to Morningstar investment ratings or S&P credit ratings. The Company Impact Rating is an aggregate numerical score and star-rating for individual companies built-up from their ratings in five stakeholder categories (environment, community, employees, consumers/products, and governance/ leadership) and fifteen sub-categories. The Portfolio Impact Rating is an aggregate numerical score and star-rating for an investment fund based on a rollup of the underlying Company Impact Ratings for the companies in its investment portfolio.
Grantee Perception Report (GPR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe GPR is a management tool that provides foundation CEOs, boards, and staff with comparative data on grantee perceptions of their foundation's performance on a variety of dimensions. The GPR is based on a comprehensive survey of grantees covering issues such as interactions during the grant, the application and reporting processes, and perceived foundation impact.
GreatNonprofits ReviewsGreatNonprofitsGreatNonprofits offers a tool to find, review, and discuss nonprofits. Much like Amazon book reviews or other consumer review sites (Epinions, Zagats, TripAdvisor, Yelp, etc.), the reviews and ratings are posted by people who have interacted with a nonprofit in some capacity and want to share their opinions about it.
GRI Reporting FrameworkGlobal Reporting InitiativeThe GRI Reporting Framework offers a method to assess the sustainability of an organization's activities. This method can be applied to any type of organization of any size. GRI also offers Sector Supplements to respond to the unique needs of certain sectors, including but not limited to: the automotive, construction, electric utilities, media, mining & metals, and food processing sectors. Sustainability reports based on the GRI framework benchmark organizational performances with respect to laws, norms, codes, performance standards, and voluntary initiatives and compare organizational performance over time.
GuideStar Analyst ReportsGuideStarThis tool provides reports detailing individual public charity financial performance. These reports reveal trends in income, assets, and expenses and provide the ability to analyze peer group comparisons according to geographic area and NTEE classification.
HAP Humanitarian Accountability and Quality Management StandardHumanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) InternationalThe HAP Standard is a tool that seeks to measure: 1) Accountability and quality commitments made by an aid agency; 2) Quality management system–the processes used by the aid agency to achieve the commitments made; 3) Quality of service–as defined by disaster survivors, affected communities, partners, aid practitioners and other specified stakeholders. In order to achieve certification, an agency will demonstrate that it meets the 6 benchmarks and 19 requirements in the HAP Standard. These cover the three areas mentioned above, with specific attention to continual improvement. Designed for use by practitioners, researchers and donors, the Guide to the HAP Standard provides practical advice for improving the quality and accountability of humanitarian action. For agencies seeking HAP certification, it is an indispensible resource. The Additional Tools (in the Find Out More box) links directly to the Annex section of the Guide, which includes sample surveys, checklists, indicators, quality assurance tests, SWOT, and guidance on: conducting interviews, observations, focus groups; engaging communities; setting up feedback mechanisms; and holding lessons learned meetings.
HIP (Human Impact + Profit) Scorecard ™HIP Investor, Inc.The HIP (Human Impact + Profit) Scorecard™ is a tool that demonstrates how increased human impact (human, social, and environmental results) drives higher revenue, lower costs, and tax benefits for organizations from all sectors - business, social, and government. It measures five categories: health, wealth, earth, equality, and trust. HIP also assesses five management practices that drive sustainable, profitable growth: vision, measures, decision-making, accountability, and financial alignment. Organizations are analyzed using a combination of company interviews, primary research and third-party databases. The resulting HIP rating integrates 3 dimensions: human impact, profit, and management practices - and can be used as a tool inside organizations, to benchmark performance, to evaluate competitive position, and to communicate the level of impact to stakeholders across all sectors.
Impact FrameworkRobert Wood Johnson FoundationThis is a method that sets short medium and long range targets in specific program areas (such as health insurance coverage, childhood obesity, and public health) and uses performance indicators to measure progress toward those targets.
Impact Reporting and Investment Standards (IRIS)The Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN)IRIS is a catalog of metrics with standard definitions that provide a consistent method for describing an organization’s social, environmental, and financial performance. Incorporating commonly-accepted metrics and expert input, IRIS spans an array of performance objectives and includes sector-specific metrics for areas including financial services, agriculture, and energy, among others. Like financial accounting standards, IRIS provides a credible reference for performance reporting, and organizations need only use relevant metrics from the IRIS library.
Intensity of Integration Tracking FormAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures strengthened alliances. This tracking form helps organizations capture how integrated their partnerships and alliances are ranging from information sharing and communication to formal consolidation and integration.
Interrupted Time Series DesignsU.S. Department of EducationThis is an observational method that measures impact of education programs in cases where data before the implementation of the program is available. This method compares the data from before the implementation to the same data afterwards to tease out a trend in achievement.
KaBOOM! MethodKaBOOM!This is a method that KaBOOM! utilized to assess the impact of their projects on local neighborhoods. The final evaluation report (see Featured In link), conducted by Asset-Based Community Development Institute (ABCD) of Northwestern University, makes use of site visits, interviews, and a review of data to assess impact. This report can serve as a model for similar organizations looking to assess their programs.
KIDS COUNT Media Tracking FormAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Innovation NetworkThis is a tool that measures strengthened base of media support. It allows grantees to track their ability to disseminate messages and gain support for important issues that affect children and families, systematically tracking how effectively and accurately projects receive media coverage.
KIDS COUNT Self-Assessment ToolAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Innovation NetworkThis tool assesses organizational capacity and specifically helps grantees assess their work in data collection and analysis, communications and dissemination, policy analysis, community and constituency mobilization, and fund development/sustainability. The tool includes a rating section and related work plan for further improvement in each assessment area.
LBG Measuring and Benchmarking Corportate Community InvestmentCorporate CitizenshipLBG International is a network of organizations that is based around a shared method for measuring and evaluating a corporation’s community investment. The information on community contributions and outreach is collected online and analyzed so that participants can benchmark their efforts against regional and international benchmarks. The model adheres to standards set by the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI), the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI), and the Corporate Responsibility Index (CRI).
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Certification (LEED)U.S. Green Building CouncilLEED is a tool that certifies green buildings. It establishes a benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of green buildings and its requirements for certification are detailed in a checklist. Points are assigned to a project as it meets individual items on the checklist and a final point tally determines whether certification is awarded and the level of certification (platinum, gold, silver, or certified).
Learning for ResultsGrantmakers for Effective OrganizationsThis is a best practice in the form of an action guide for grantmakers that focuses on how foundations can create a deliberate culture of learning so that they are better equipped to improve decision-making, lead change and achieve better results.
Learning with ConstituentsKeystone AccountabilityThis is a method to gather and document meaningful feedback from constituents. It encourages techniques such as “change journals” in which staff record the informal input from their daily work. Other techniques include structured dialogues that probe deeply into what small groups of people think about the organization’s achievements, such as focus groups and world café. Large-scale feedback techniques include surveys that generate commentary from large numbers of people on many specific aspects of the organization’s behavior and performance.
Legislative Process Tracking LogAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures improved policies by tracking legislative activities to monitor changes in sponsors and votes for or against a specific piece of legislation.
Listen First FrameworkMango, Concern WorldwideThis best practice provides a framework of four principles to develop practical ways for NGOs to manage their accountability to the people they aim to serve: 1) providing information publicly; 2) involving people in making decisions; 3) listening to feedback and complaints; and 4) evaluating staff attitudes and behaviors. This framework is used to structure three central processes: 1) workshops for staff to discuss and assess current levels of accountability and to identify improvements for their specific context; 2) research into local communities’ views of how accountable staff are in practice and how useful they find the NGO’s work; and 3) summary reports for managers to understand the level of accountability achieved in different projects.
Listen Learn LeadGrantmakers for Effective OrganizationsThis is a report on phase 1 of the Change Agent Project, which offers best practices for grantmakers that focus on listening and engaging with individuals doing work on the ground. The Change Agent Project began by gathering input from grantmakers and nonprofits. Through nine focus groups across the country and 30 interviews with nonprofit leaders and grantmakers GEO asked two questions: Where can changed practice make the greatest difference? And who in philanthropy is leading change? From these conversations, GEO has identified the most promising opportunities for grantmakers to make changes that will contribute to nonprofit results. This report highlights those lessons.
Local Multiplier 3New Economics FoundationLM3 was developed by NEF as a simple and understandable tool for measuring local economic impact. It is designed to help people think about local money flows and how their organization can practically improve its local economic impact, as well as influence the public sector to consider the impact of its procurement decisions. It was designed to be quick and relatively easy and to highlight where an organization can improve its impact.
Logic Model BuilderInnovation NetworkThis method is a step-by-step guide for articulating and connecting organizational or program goals, resources, activities, outputs, and outcomes.
Making the Case™Women's Funding NetworkMaking the Case™ is a tool developed by Women's Funding Network in response to an increasing demand among member funds for a tool to measure and evaluate social change. Funders invite grantees to use the online tool to enter information into a database that allows the funder to aggregate data and run reports. The tool is currently available to members of the Women’s Funding Network and Grantee Partners, and other organizations that wish to purchase access.
Measurement of Cultural VitalityUrban InstituteMeasurement of Cultural Vitality is a tool that looks at arts establishments per thousand population, percentage of employment in nonprofit and commercial arts establishments as proportion of all employment, nonprofit arts organizations per thousand population, nonprofit arts and cultural celebrations per thousand population, nonprofit art expenses per capita, nonprofit arts contributions per capita, and percentage of artist jobs.
Measures of SuccessFoundations of SuccessThis book presents a methodology for designing, managing, and measuring the impacts of community-oriented conservation and development projects. It provides guidance for designing a site-specific conceptual framework, setting goals, developing a monitoring plan, collecting and analyzing data, and implementing program modifications based on findings. It also includes four case studies that serve to illustrate the methodology in action.
Measuring Advocacy and PolicyAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis best practice provides an approach to measure advocacy and policy change efforts, starting with a theory of change, identifying outcome categories, and selecting practical approaches to measurement.
Measuring Impact FrameworkWorld Business Council for Sustainable DevelopmentThis is a method that thoroughly outlines a framework for businesses to measure their impact on development goals in the regions where they operate. The framework is laid out broadly to meet the needs of organizations across different sectors anywhere in the world over time, allowing a variety of businesses to make key decisions that affect social impact.
Meeting Observation ChecklistAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures a shift in social norms. It captures how often an issue is placed on a meeting agenda, whether it was discussed, what the main content was, the discussion length and perception of seriousness.
Methodology for Impact Analysis and Assessment (MIAA)Investing for GoodThe Methodology for Impact Analysis and Assessment (MIAA) is a methodology outlined by Investing for Good in their recent publication, The Good Analyst. This framework offers a detailed series of indicators and scorecards that can be used to examine an organization and its impact. The three main areas covered are: 1. Mission Fulfillment; 2. Beneficiary Perspective; and 3. Wider Impact. The book goes on to explain the rationale behind social assessment and includes background on the increased presence of impact assessment among social ventures.
Metrics GuideTrue ImpactThis method allows organizations to build an outline for assessment of outreach, volunteer, or other social activities by creating a list of key performance indicators and outlining strategies for measurement, applied to a select investment or signature program, or to an entire portfolio of investments.
Metrics that MatterUSC Program for Environmental and Regional EquityTransactions – Transformations – Translations: Metrics That Matter for Building, Scaling, and Funding Social Movements, a report from USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) with support from the Ford Foundation, provides an evaluative framework and key milestones to gauge movement building. This best practice aims to bridge the gap between the field of community organizing that relies on the one-on-one epiphanies of leaders and the growing philanthropic emphasis on evidence-based giving. The report stresses three main insights: any good set of movement metrics should capture quantity and quality, numbers and nuance, transactions and transformations; a movement is more than one organization; and metrics must be co-created, not imposed. The report also offers a set of recommendations to funders and the field, ranging from practical steps (like building a new toolbox of measures, improving the capacity to use them, and documenting innovation and experimentation) to more far-reaching suggestions about leadership development, the connection of policy outcomes with broader social change, and the need to generate movement-level measures.
MicroRateMicroRateThis tool is a social rating that measures the level of social return from an investment in a microfinance institution (MFI). The rating allows investors to compare MFIs from a social point of view. MicroRate evaluates the MFI’s social results and social commitment within the context of its country or region. The first component – social results – evaluates the MFI’s capacity, efficiency, and consistency in achieving its social mission by considering depth and diversity of services; cost, efficiency, and sustainability; and institutional responsibility. The second component – social commitment – assesses the MFI’s focus and the chances of potential deviation from the social mission by examining the MFI’s mission, communication, management, strategic planning, monitoring, client protection, customer service, recruitment and training, and incentive system. After analyzing these two components, MicroRate arrives at a social rating grade.
Monitoring & Evaluation ToolkitCIVICUS World Alliance for Citizen ParticipationThis guide outlines a methodology for setting up and using a monitoring and evaluation system for a project or an organisation. It clarifies what monitoring and evaluation are, how you plan to do them, how you design a system that helps you monitor and an evaluation process that brings it all together usefully. It looks at how you collect the information you need and then how you save yourself from drowning in data by analysing the information in a relatively straightforward way. Finally it raises, and attempts to address, some of the issues to do with taking action on the basis of what you have learned. It also includes a case study, worksheets, and glossary of terms.
Monitoring and Evaluation for Poverty ReductionThe World BankThis book chapter provides a method extensively outlining the decision-making process and reasoning behind initiating a practical evaluation of a poverty-reduction program (or programs) over time. The authors (Giovanna Prennushi, Gloria Rubio, and Kalanidhi Subbarao) detail how to construct a relevant framework using a results-based management approach and decide what data to collect on the appropriate indicators to measure outcomes and impact.
Movement Above the U.S. $1 a Day ThresholdMicrocredit Summit CampaignThis method attempts to determine whether and where clients of microfinance institutions are leaving poverty, defined as moving from below US$1/day to above that threshold. There are three prongs to this methodology: 1) analyzing existing data about a microcredit client's movement across U.S. $1/day; 2) administering new surveys to establish baseline data for entering clients so their progress can be tracked over time; and 3) commissioning expert panels of top poverty researchers in various countries with high concentration of microfinance activities to ensure that accurate estimates of client's net exit from below U.S. $1/day is captured. The second item is a poverty scorecard of 10 questions that loan officers administer during loan applications and maintenance interviews with clients to measure the poverty level of their clients at entry and periodically over time.
Multidimensional Assessment Process (MAP)Center for Effective PhilanthropyMultidimensional Assessment Process (MAP) is a tool that provides foundations with an integrated assessment of performance based on comparative data collected from a variety of different sources, including grantees, declined applicants, foundation staff, and foundation board members. The MAP assimilates results and data from all of CEP’s assessment tools into key findings, implications, and recommended action steps for improved foundation performance.
Nurse-Family Partnership Evaluation & Logic ModelsNurse-Family Partnership (NFP)NFP’s logic models can serve as useful methodologies for maternal and early childhood health programs with a home visit component. NFP has conducted extensive research through randomized control trials with diverse populations in order to develop these logic models. They outline maternal and child activities, and short-term, intermediate, and long-term outcomes that NFP strives to attain, such as pregnant women displaying improved health behaviors, and decreased neurodevelopmental impairment in newborns. NFP’s National Service Office works with communities interested in implementing the Nurse-Family Partnership model to ensure the program is right for their needs and that broad-based community support can be established and sustained. NFP Implementing Agencies contract with the National Service Office to provide services at a community level. These agencies are administered by a range of non-profit and for-profit entities, including state and county health departments, community-based health centers, nursing associations, and hospitals, generally through maternal and child health services.
Operational Benchmarking Report (OBR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe Operational Benchmarking Report (OBR) is a tool that provides comparative data, relative to a selected group of peer foundations, on aspects of funder operations – including staffing, program officer workload, grant characteristics, and administrative costs.
Organization ReportRoot CauseThis tool is a report that provides information that social impact investors can use to determine whether the investment opportunity is a good match for their personal interests, where specifically they may be able to add value both with money and in-kind resources, and how an investment may result in increased social impact. It includes a review of the administration and management of the organization, a description of what the organization does (programs) and what it is achieving (impact), an analysis of differentiating key strengths, an assessment of challenges and how they can be addressed, and recommendations on improvements the organization could make to increase scale and impact.
Organizational Assessment ToolInnovation NetworkThis is a self-assessment survey and reporting tool that provides nonprofit leaders and stakeholders with a snapshot of organizational strengths and areas for improvement.
Organizational Capacity Assessment ToolMarguerite Casey FoundationThis self-assessment tool for non-profit organizations was developed by the Marguerite Casey Foundation to help organizations understand their current capacity and map out goals for improvement based on four key areas crucial to success, based on The Conservation Company's Capacity Assessment Grid: Leadership, Adaptive, Management, and Operational capacity. The tool provides instructions for filling out the form as well as calculations that provide a score to benchmark progress toward improvement. Results from the assessment can also help grantmakers deepen their understanding of the current capacity of their grantees as well as track their growth in capacity over time.
Organizational Capacity Assessment Tool (OCAT)McKinsey & Company, Venture Philanthropy PartnersThis is a tool to measure organizational capacity. Each element from the Capacity Framework's seven elements of organizational capacity is scored on a grid, by selecting the text that best describes the organization's current status or performance. The seven elements of organizational capacity are: 1) Aspirations; 2) Strategy; 3) Organizatonal Skills; 4) Human Resources; 5) Systems and Infrastructure; 6) Organizational Structure; and 7) Culture.
Outcome MappingInternational Development Research CentreOutcome Mapping offers a methodology that can be used to create planning, monitoring, and evaluation mechanisms enabling organizations to document, learn from, and report on their achievements. It is designed to assist in understanding an organization's results, while recognizing that contributions by other actors are essential to achieving the kinds of sustainable, large-scale improvements in human and ecological well-being toward which the organization is working. The innovations introduced in Outcome Mapping provide ways of overcoming some of the barriers to learning faced by evaluators and development partners. Attribution and measuring downstream results are dealt with through a more direct focus on transformations in the actions of the main actors. The methodology has also shown promise for across-portfolio learning in that it facilitates standardization of indicators without losing the richness in each case's story thus combining qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Outcome-Based EvaluationOrganizational Research ServicesOutcome-based evaluation is a systematic method for assessing the extent to which a program has achieved its intended results.  It answers the key questions:  “how has a program made a difference?” and “how are the lives of program participants better as a result of the program?”.  Outcome-based evaluation can help provide information that helps organizations and programs report back to their key audiences, improve program quality, make decisions about resource allocation and communicate about results.
Outcomes and Impact FrameworksCenter for What Works, Urban InstituteBased on research by The Center for What Works and the Urban Institute, this method delineates the outcomes that should be measured by an organization in a particular sector. The Outcomes Framework Browser allows users to navigate through the 14 program areas and browse their respective outcomes and indicators. Once you choose a program area of interest, or the more general common outcomes taxonomy, the screen will display a program description, an Outcomes Sequence Chart for that program area, and links to the program outcomes so you can view the outcome indicators. The common outcomes are thematically classified as knowledge/learning/attitude (e.g., skills, attitude, readiness), behavior (incidence of bad behavior, incidence of desirable activity, maintenance of new behavior), condition/status (e.g., participant social status, economic condition, health condition). The Impact Measurement Framework allows users to define their mission/program impact statement and then choose up to three outcomes most relevant to that statement. Once the key outcomes are identified, users choose the measureable indicators of success. This is an ongoing effort, which continues to expand to additional sectors.
PCV Social Impact AssessmentPacific Community VenturesThis is a tool created by Pacific Community Ventures (PCV). PCV invests human, intellectual and financial capital in businesses to create opportunity and shared prosperity for economically underserved communities. As part of fulfilling this mission, through Insight, its center for thought leadership, PCV provides research, knowledge and tools to investors, corporations and other stakeholders to enable them to assess and leverage the community impacts of their investments, operations and other activities. PCV’s methodologies are customized to individual assignments but generally track economic impact in underserved communities, often specifically looking at job growth, flows of investment capital and payroll to underserved communities, diversity, and job quality (e.g., benefits such as health care, wealth building). A key part of PCV’s methodology is its rigorous efforts to compare social performance against applicable market benchmarks. PCV maintains proprietary databases to measure investment impact over time and to isolate social impact that occurs during the actual investment period.
Performance Information that Really PerformsJill Blair, Fay TwerskyThis is a best practice that outlines a series of steps. The steps are to develop guiding principles, access current practice, determine what information is needed, design tools and procedures to gather information, gather the information, translate it to action, and ultimately engage in a process of reflection and if needed correction.
PerformWellUrban Institute, ChildTrends, Social SolutionsPerformwell provides measurement tools and practical knowledge that human services professionals can use to manage their programs’ day-to-day performance. Information in PerformWell leverages research-based findings that have been synthesized and simplified by experts in the field. By providing information and tools to measure program quality and outcomes, PerformWell helps human services practitioners deliver more effective social programs by guiding them on what and how to measure. (PerformWell also integrates with ETO software so that software users can dowload the tools directly into ETO.)
PhilanthropediaGuideStarPhilanthropedia is a tool that helps donors as they search for nonprofits to support. Its mission is to improve nonprofit effectiveness by directing money to and facilitating discussion about expert recommended high-impact nonprofits. The Philanthropedia approach uses a low-cost method of surveying experts to identify high quality information about nonprofits. Experts are qualified because they have access to nonpublic data about charities and have advanced mental models for evaluating impact.
Philanthropic Portfolio Analysis ReportsRoot CauseThis tool is a report that enables advisors to analyze the philanthropic investment portfolios of their clients. Financial investment portfolio tools are used to capture client objectives, strategies to meet those objectives, risk analysis and allocation of funds. This report will provide comparable information for social investors to review how they currently allocate their philanthropic investments as well as recommendations on how they can manage their portfolios more effectively in order to meet their philanthropic objectives.
Policy Brief Stakeholder SurveyAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures a shift in social norms. This specific survey assesses the impact and use of the policy brief released by the California Center for Public Health Advocacy ranking death rates due to diabetes based on California Assembly and Senate member districts. This is a survey of key individuals associated with the state legislature and community organizations working with diabetes programs and nutrition and physical activity programs. Interviewees include legislative staff, members of the scientific community, and members of local community organizations throughout the state. This survey utilizes retrospective questions that ask respondents to reflect on how they have changed as a result of the policy brief.
Policy Tracking Analysis ToolAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis is a tool that measures improved policies by tracking and documenting the types of policies developed and their path to adoption or rejection. Data from the tracking system can be used to describe how successful policy strategies were, and assess changes to policies over time, tracking desired policy components and whether a policy exceeds, meets, partially meets or does not meet these components.
Policy Tracking FormAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis tool is a log form that tracks whether individuals have benefited from particular policies based on an organization's client experiences.
Political Return on Investment (PROI)Skyline Public WorksPROI is a tool that attempts to quantify and measure an organization’s political return on investments. This tool can be used for vetting and assessing an organization’s impact before a contribution, or for assessing its impact after a donation. This tool assesses six sectors: advocacy, electoral, idea generation, infrastructure, leadership and media. Organizations complete a questionnaire that addresses their human and financial resources, quantitative and qualitative outputs and change over time for items such as market penetration, repeat customers, and client (volunteer) satisfaction. SPW then uses its analytical model to calculate a PROI core score (organization capacity) and a sector scale for each organization. The indicators were co-developed and agreed upon by both organizations and donors. *PROI's former sponsor, New Progressive Coalition, is no longer in operation. PROI is now property of Skyline Public Works.
Poverty and Social Impact Analysis (PSIA)The World BankThis method analyzes the distributional impact of policy reforms on the well-being or welfare of different stakeholder groups. PSIA starts with the ex-ante analysis of expected poverty and social impacts of policy reforms (predicting impacts before the policy actually takes effect). PSIA then advocates monitoring results during implementation. Finally, where possible, PSIA suggests evaluating ex-post the poverty and social impacts of reforms.
PQASSOCharities Evaluation ServicesPQASSO (Practical Quality Assurance System for Small Organizations) is a quality assurance tool intended to help an organization run more effectively and efficiently. It offers a flexible approach to quality assurance, which allows the organization to work at its own pace. Taking a systematic look at an organization, this tool identifies areas of strength and weakness to pinpoint exactly where improvements are needed. It helps with planning, budgeting and allocating the resources for making these improvements over a realistic time period.
Pro Bono ManagerTrue ImpactThis modular, web-based resource is a tool for socially conscious organizations to manage and analyze their volunteer or philanthropic activities. It includes True Impact’s Proposal Manager, Logic Model Tool, Survey Manager, and ROI Calculator.
Program and Policymaking EvaluationW.K. Kellogg FoundationThis is a best practice on how to make effective decisions about program funding and support. It addresses cross-cutting programming and policy decisions and utilizes information gathered and synthesized from both project level and cluster level evaluation.
Programme Accountability and Learning System (PALS) Plan InternationalThis method provides a framework that guides Plan staff in their planning, monitoring, and evaluation at the program country level. PALS is described in four key stages: (1) Participatory Situation Analysis from a child rights perspective; (2) Strategic and Programme Planning; (3) Programme implementation through projects (4) Programme monitoring, evaluation and research. Enabling staff in program countries to assess their Child Centered Community Development (CCCD) approach, this system allows for local circumstance and flexibility.
Progress out of Poverty Index (PPI)Grameen FoundationPPI is a tool that gauges the number of microfinance clients that moves out of poverty over time. The PPI asks 10 questions that are predictive of poverty (e.g., what are the walls of your house made of?). Microfinance loan officers then integrate these questions into their standard loan application and maintenance interviews. Data collected over time is aggregated to show movement of groups of clients relative to poverty.
Project Level Evaluation: Context EvaluationW.K. Kellogg FoundationThis is a best practice to show how a particular project functions within the economic, social, and political environment of its community and project setting. Context evaluation asks how the community and umbrella organization hinder or help achieve project goals.
Project Level Evaluation: Implementation EvaluationW.K. Kellogg FoundationThis is a best practice to help with the planning, setting up, and carrying out of a project and with the documentation of the evolution of a project. It enhances the likelihood of success by providing indications of what happened and why.
Project Level Evaluation: Outcome EvaluationW.K. Kellogg FoundationThis is a best practice to determine what outcomes are expected from a project and identify what impact a project is having on its clients, staff, umbrella organization, and community. It asks: 1) Who are you trying to serve? 2) What outcomes are you trying to achieve for your target population? 3) How will you measure whether you’ve achieved these outcomes? 4) What data will you collect and how will you collect it? 5) How will you use those results? 6) What are your performance targets?
Project Streamline Grantmaker Assessment ToolCenter for Effective Philanthropy, Grants Managers NetworkThis tool is an online survey that generates a comparative report about your grantmaking processes. It enables you to compare these processes to those of other funders, as well as to the principles described in the report, "Drowning in Paperwork, Distracted from Purpose." It will also help you to determine the costs of these processes to both your organization and your grantseekers. Once you have completed the survey, you will be able to download a comparative report that you can use to stimulate discussion within your organization about current processes and opportunities for improvement.
Prove It!New Economics FoundationProve it! was developed and published by NEF in 2000 in partnership with Groundwork UK and Barclays PLC to provide a method for measuring the effect of community regeneration projects on the quality of life of local people. This method was originally conceived to help those managing neighborhood renewal projects look beyond the physical and environmental changes that had taken place (e.g. the number of trees planted; amenities created) and be able to highlight the positive outcomes of regeneration that can often go unnoticed. Since the original handbook was produced an accompanying Prove It! Toolkit has been developed that supports a project manager in planning and undertaking a participatory evaluation for proving and improving.
PulseAcumen FundPulse (aka Portfolio Data Management System, PDMS) is a proprietary online tool that allows the investor to track a consistent set of core quantitative financial, operational and social metrics for each portfolio company. It creates and tracks customized metrics for individual companies and qualitatively rates company management using a standardized capabilities assessment of six areas: alignment with the investor's mission, financial sustainability, potential for scale, potential for social impact, management capability, and business model effectiveness.
Quality Audit Tool for Managing Performance (QAT)MicroFinance CentreThis is a management tool for MFIs. It examines management processes and internal systems and assesses the status and effectiveness of each for achieving the MFI's stated social mission. Based on this assessment, it identifies areas, along with recommended actions, in which the MFI should focus its attention so as to better align internal processes and systems with social performance and make more effective and balanced decisions.
Quality of Official Development Assistance (QuODA) AssessmentGlobal Economy & Development at Brookings, Center for Global DevelopmentThe QuODA Assessment tool tracks, compares, and ranks quality of aid based on data provided by 31 donor countries and 152 aid agencies. It uses OECD Paris Declaration Principles and the Accra Action Agenda to assess the effectiveness of international aid. A cross-national standard for comparison of development aid was developed around four major areas: maximizing efficiency, fostering institutions, reducing burden, and transparency and learning. These areas are broken down into 30 individual indicators against which aid programs are assessed based on the country programmable aid (CPA) amounts.
Re-Imagining ReportingKeystone AccountabilityThis best practice encourages formal reports that focus an organization's contribution to outcomes as reflected by the evidence gathered and the feedback received. Reports should be engaging public documents, written in a lively accessible style for all constituents and stakeholders, and not simply to account to funders. Reports should stimulate inclusive dialogue on the conclusions and the way forward.
Roca’s High-Risk Youth Intervention ModelRocaRoca’s High-Risk Youth Intervention Model is a method that helps Roca assess whether they successfully help young people change their behavior and shift the trajectories of their lives. Based on cognitive-behavioral intervention, the Model enables young people to move toward the outcomes of economic independence and personal safety. Roca’s model is based on a framework for change used in medical and mental health fields and includes: 1) relentless outreach through transformational relationships (Roca’s intensive case management model); 2) stage-based programming toward economic independence (life skills, educational and pre-vocational, and employment programming); and, 3) work with engaged institutional partners.

A team of evaluators, which includes the Crime and Justice Institute, Abt Associates, and the Schneider Institute for Health Policy, has been meeting to determine the most rigorous evaluation design that can be applied. In addition, input is received from Roca’s Evaluation Advisory Board. The plan for the outcome evaluation is to use a failure rate design (survival analysis) as a way to determine what intervention components and participant characteristics predict which outcomes. The designs under consideration are all quasi-experimental in nature: difference-in-differences and the use of a simulated comparison group. For more information, view the Initial Implementation Evaluation Report.

SEEP Client Exit SurveySEEPThis tool attempts to inform and improve program effectiveness. It seeks to determine why and when clients leave the program, what clients think about the program strengths/weaknesses, and what they perceive the program's impact to be. It takes the form of a quantitative survey with standard questions and pre-determined answer categories in the form of an individual interview requiring 15-20 minutes to administer.
SEEP Client Satisfaction Focus GroupSEEPThis tool uses a focus group discussion to inform and improve program effectiveness by identifying clients' satisfaction and dissatisfaction with its specific elements.
SEEP Empowerment InterviewSEEPThis tool uses a qualitative interview to identify the impact of women’s access to and use of microloans. It identifies changes in women’s self-esteem, control over resources, skills, household relationships, and status within their communities.
SEEP Impact SurveySEEPThis tool assesses the impact of microenterprise programs, primarily at the enterprise, household and individual levels. It uses a cross-sectional impact survey.
SEEP Loan and Savings Use InterviewSEEPThis tool is a qualitative 60-90 minute interview that attempts to measure the impact of lending. It identifies how microentrepreneurs and low income borrowers use financial resources (both loan capital and savings) to carry out their economic strategies for their businesses and households.
SOCIALACCIONThis method measures the social impact of a microfinance institute (MFI). This is accomplished by forming a social performance assessment team to conduct audits by interviewing management, staff, board members, and clients; reviewing the strategic and business plans and minutes of board meetings; reviewing data from the MFI's client database; gathering data from external surveys or other sources to validate the MFI's database and searching secondary source data, such as national data, the MIX, market studies, etc.; creating a map of geographic coverage; and making branch visits. The result is a detailed social audit report for the institution and a social scorecard.

ACCION developed the SOCIAL tool in 2003, and tested it out at four partner institutions. The methodology was quite labor intensive (2 staff people at the MFI for a week) and therefore it was made available for public use, but ACCION does not offer this assessment among the services available through its technical assistance packages. ACCION has also developed a set of consumer protection (the baseline for social performance) measurement tools that enable microfinance institutions to evaluate themselves using the framework of the Principles of Client Protection and a checklist of key indicators.
Social AuditSocial Audit NetworkThis tool is used as part of the audit services provided by the Social Audit Network. A Social Audit can be conducted at one of three levels, including a self-audit option. The audit uses social accounting to determine that an organisation’s claims can be credible (proved) and used to demonstrate organisational development (improvement). Social accounting is the process of collecting information about the activities an organisation carries out which affect its stakeholders. These activities may be intended ‘outputs’ or just the day to day internal operations. Organisations' impact can be measured in three ways: social, environmental and financial. Financial reporting has been in use for hundreds of years and can be used to both show what has happened and as a planning tool. Social accounting enables this process to be carried out for social and environmental outputs. See the manual for more on methodology and links to ready-to-use materials.
Social e-valuatorSocial EvaluatorThis is an online software tool to help an organization or project/investment with each aspect of the impact measurement process. The social e-valuator™ project software follows a ten step approach to assessing social impact. By providing clear explanations and sample cases, the social e-valuator™ guides through each steps of preparing a social return on investment analysis.
Social Impact AssessmentRockefeller Foundation, Goldman Sachs FoundationThis is a best practice that provides the following guidelines a) conceptual: funders and grantees should align goals, assessment tools, and best practices b) operational: grantees and investors should acknowledge evaluation expenses as part of the cost of doing business, invest in measurement systems and tools, and develop examples of proven impact c) structural: each field and subfield should explore a range of possible outcome goals and best practices for measurement d) practical: a commitment to outcomes assessment can be a fundamental part of the management structure and organizational culture among funders and nonprofits.
Social Impact Assessment (SIA)Global Social Venture CompetitionThe SIA provides a method for measuring the social impact of organizations for a social investor. It has three major steps: definition of the venture's social value proposition using a "theory of change," quantification of social value by listing the top three social indicators most strongly correlated with desired social outcomes and that can be tracked as part of normal business operations, and monetization of the social impact value the venture aims to create over the next 10 years.
Social Impact Estimate/AssessmentCenter for High Impact PhilanthropyThis method integrates available evidence from multiple sources to estimate/assess social impact. It leverages both external information, e.g., domain-specific evidence, metrics, standards, and external data sets (to serve as benchmarks and/or baseline comparisons) along with organization-specific information, e.g., monitoring reports and program evaluations, to provide an estimate of social impact creation. The use of available external information allows funders and nonprofits to bring some rigor into their analysis without undertaking the enormous cost, logistical challenges, and staff resources required to implement a rigorous, scientific study of one organization’s work.
Social IMPact Measurement for Local Economies (SIMPLE)SEEDA, European Social Fund, University of Brighton, Focus Work, SEL, The CubistThe SIMPLE approach to social impact assessment is a methodology developed by Social Enterprise London (SEL) in conjunction with University of Brighton. It combines internal strategic review with outcomes based assessment to help managers of socially motivated businesses to visualize where and how they make positive contributions to society. Following a two-day training, users are equipped to select appropriate measures with which to collect quantifiable data and have received guidance on how to use that data to put their efforts into the broader context. By using a framework such as SIMPLE, it is possible to identify what evidence of change needs to be collected in order to illustrate the social benefits that the work of the organization creates.
Social Impact TrackerCúnamh ICTSocial Impact Tracker Online is a tool that helps demonstrate your social value. It is a secure, web-based database application that allows you to capture and report your outputs, outcomes and your social impact. Social Impact Tracker Online allows you to record and share your contacts and activities; monitor and report on engagement and participation; capture attendance; maintain session records for group-based and one-to-one activities and more. It allows you to capture and report on both quantitative and qualitative data. It is an efficient method of providing supporting documentation to funders, management and other key stakeholders.
Social Investment Risk Assessment (SIRA)Hunter Consulting LLCThis tool is a questionnaire designed to assess the likelihood that a nonprofit social or human services agency will deliver measurable social value. The information developed with this tool is intended to be a proxy to help those social investors who want to see measurable good result from their allocation of funds to such organizations. The tool identifies three performance domains – tactical data use, strategic data use, and program value – that together define the likelihood of social value of an agency’s work with two indicators for each domain: data integrity indicator and outcomes focus indicator, making essential adjustments indicator and relating staff efforts to outcomes indicator, and capacity to deliver program/services with fidelity indicator and program impact data indicator. This tool was authored by David Hunter, with assistance from Ingvild Bjornvold and Marie Louise Refsgaard.
Social Outcome TrackingREDFSocial Outcome Tracking provides a methodology for gathering data on key indicators affecting social enterprise employees for its portfolio organizations, including barriers to employment, income and employment status. REDF is working with Social Solutions ETO to help organizations gather data and use it for both performance management and outcome tracking.
Social Performance Audit ToolUSAIDThis tool attempts to assess the social performance of an MFI. Using a "process auditing" approach, this tool answers the following question: To what degree do the internal processes promote fulfillment of the MFI's stated social mission? This tool also assesses the MFI's performance in relation to its corporate social responsibility, particularly in terms of its relationship with and impact on staff, clients, the local community, and the environment. This assessment is performed by auditors who then author a final social audit report.
Social Performance Indicators (SPI)CERISEThis is a social audit tool for microfinance institutions that takes the form of a questionnaire. It can be self-administered by the microfinance institute or used with an external reviewer that evaluates four dimensions: 1) outreach to the poor and excluded populations; 2) adaptation of products and services for target clients; 3) improvement in social and political capital; and 4) corporate social responsibility. The SPI tool is open access. In exchange for using the tool, users send their findings to CERISE along with comments on the tool. This user collaboration has led to an improved version of the SPI and a rich database with results of over 200 social audits.
Social RatingM-CRILThe Social Rating tool assesses the use of microfinance resources. It follows a similar approach to a credit rating. Organizations provide M-CRIL with annual reports and portfolio information. M-CRIL staff then conducts interviews with a subset of board members, managers and staff. The team visits 2-3 branches for interviews with loan officers and a random sample of clients. Client interviews acquire data in four areas: 1) clients’ awareness about financial products, including knowledge of the interest rate they are charged on loans and the rate paid on their savings, 2) clients’ access to capital, 3) enterprise-level information including the enterprises’ industry sector and whether employees are non-family members, 4) and poverty assessment information.
Social RatingMicroFinanza RatingThis tool offers an independent and objective assessment of a microfinance institution's (MFI) social performance, defined as the capacity of the MFI to translate its mission into practice and to achieve its social goals. The qualitative and quantitative analyses are reflected in a social rating grade that encompasses a review of the MFI’s social performance management system, social responsibility, its outreach, and the quality of the services offered.
Social Value MetricsRoot CapitalThe Social Value Metrics tool is a performance monitoring system that tracks the impact of loans. It assesses economic (volume of sales, revenue, net assets, and the price premium a cooperative fetches for their product versus standard price); social (includes number of members, jobs created, amount of purchases from local rural producers, and price the cooperative pays local producers relative to the price a middleman would pay); and environment (includes total acres under organic certification, the number of trees planted in the past year, and the percentage of borrowers located in or around protected areas) impact of a loan. Questions are included in a standard loan application form.
SPEAK (Strategic Planning, Evaluation and Knowledge Networking)NexusThis system is a tool which offers organizations and projects the capacity to self-evaluate, leading to a comprehensive understanding of the work, outputs and impacts of the organizations, and the facility to integreate these new understands with improved strategic and work planning.
Spider Diagram for Capacity Building AdvocacyAnnie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis tool assesses organizational capacity and specifically measures advocacy competency on a) ability to manage and monitor advocacy b) ability to carry out research and policy analysis, including gender analysis of policies c) ability to create and support networks and coalitions d) ability to carry out PR work (meetings, briefings, talks), d) media and communications work e) lobbying work f) mobilization of members of the public (letter writing, demonstrations, direct action, etc.).
SROIREDFThis tool applies a monetary value to ventures with social objectives. REDF's SROI Framework focuses on determining a set of six SROI metrics: Enterprise Value, Social Purpose Value, Blended Value, Enterprise Index of Return, Social Purpose Index of Return, and Blended Index of Return. It uses an organization's actual data on outputs and outcomes and on proxy research but does not include analysis against what social outcomes would have been if the venture did not exist.
SROIThe SROI NetworkSROI is a method that aims to quantify social impact by attributing value to particular outcomes. Based on a set of principles for accounting for value, its stages include involving stakeholders, defining scope, developing an impact map, identifying and collecting data on approximate indicators and financial proxies, finding appropriate comparison data, collecting data on expenditure or investment, calculating the SROI, completing a sensitivity analysis, and producing an SROI report.
SROI CalculatorCalvert FoundationSROI calculator is an online tool that allows investors to see how many housing, jobs, community facilities, and small businesses and microentrepreneurs receiving loans are likely to be generated for the investment they make. Aggregated output data is generated from survey to portfolio organizations asking for a report on social impact outputs, information about the communities they work in, and relevant stories.
SROI FrameworkESROIN members and othersThis method offers set of guidelines for the measurement of non-financial impact per investment. It defines four major stages: Planning, Implementation, Reporting and Embedding, and the key questions and choices to be addressed at each step. Planning involves determining the goals for the analysis, its scope, the key stakeholders affected by the entity to be analyzed, the entity’s impact value chain, sources of data of information to be gathered, and a resource plan for the analysis. Implementation involves collection of data and supporting outcomes and base case evidence, as well as a calculation of social cash flows for outcomes describable in monetary terms, and a net present value calculation of these to arrive at an ROI ratio. Reporting includes making transparent the scope of the analysis and sources to facilitate verification and replication. Embedding includes specifying who is responsible for ongoing maintenance of data collection and analysis. The SROI framework does not include data management tools.
SROI LiteSanta Clara University GSBI™This is a method for measuring social impact by asking enterprise managers to define the single most important output they create and the unit cost of that output and to calculate how much is spent for every successful output created.
SROI ToolkitSVT GroupAn impact assessment and management system, the SROI Toolkit provides a methodology that is designed for use with both individual companies and investment portfolios. SVT first works with the client to define one or more specific measurable "addressable impacts," identifying and involving key stakeholders. Next, indicators of this impact are defined and tracked. SVT also collects base case and outcome data from experts and secondary research sources, and customizes an analytical model that associates the organization's regularly collected data with impact results. This feeds into the SROI Dashboard that shows progress toward impact.
Staff Perception Report (SPR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe Staff Perception Report (SPR) is a tool that explores foundation staff members’ perceptions of foundation effectiveness and job satisfaction on a comparative basis. The SPR is based on a survey specific to foundations that includes questions related to staff members’ impressions of their role in philanthropy, satisfaction with their jobs, their foundation’s impact, and opportunities for foundation improvement. Participating foundations have the opportunity to add a small number of questions specific to each foundation’s needs. In addition to providing participating foundations with comparative data, the staff surveys will help create a broad data set that CEP will use to report on practices and trends in the field.
Stakeholder Assessment Report (STAR)Center for Effective PhilanthropyThe Stakeholder Assessment Report (STAR) is a tool that delivers insight about a foundation's effectiveness by surveying stakeholders who the foundation seeks to influence as part of its strategy: academics, business/industry experts, government, media, nonprofit organizations, etc. It is based on a survey specific to foundation stakeholders and covers a variety of topics, from funder communications and resources to impact and effectiveness.
Standards for Excellence® ProgramStandards for Excellence InstituteThe Standards for Excellence Program relies on the Standards for Excellence publication to serve as a model and tool for nonprofit organizations to implement in their operations and governance. Based on fundamental values - such as honesty, integrity, fairness, respect, trust, compassion, responsibility, and accountability - these Standards describe how nonprofits should act to be ethical and accountable in their program operations, governance, human resources, financial management and fundraising. Eight guiding principles are provided, along with fifty-five standards. Detailed performance benchmarks enable nonprofits to determine how well they are fulfilling their obligations to stakeholders and how to strengthen their operations. All nonprofit organizations are encouraged to commit to and implement the guiding principles of the Standards for Excellence. The Institute also makes available to member organizations a comprehensive system of educational tools to enable individual nonprofit organizations to improve their governance and management practices. Standards for Excellence certification is available to individual organizations through a rigorous peer review process available nationally through the Standards for Excellence Institute and through licensed partners in selected states (MD, PA, OH, and LA). The Institute offers a national network of qualified consultants licensed to provide training, consulting, and support on the Standards.
Steps Program EvaluationCenters for Disease Control & PreventionThe Healthy Communities (formerly known as Steps) program evaluation page offers best practices for documenting program implementation, determining progress towards goals, and identifying areas for improvement. These communities address the burden of chronic diseases by implementing activities that help people to be more physically active, eat a healthy diet, stop using tobacco and better manage their diabetes and asthma. At the center of their evaluation strategy are the Core Performance Measures. Over the course of two years, stakeholders identified and agreed upon 18 measures and 44 related indicators; each reflects a critical component of Steps activities. The Core Performance Measures provide information about what and how results are achieved, reflect the best-possible science and practice-wisdom relevant to Steps communities, and take into account the practicalities of data collection at the community level.
STEPS ToolkitMargaret Sanger Center International, Planned ParenthoodThe STEPS Toolkit offers a methodology for program planning, monitoring, and evaluation that applies a rights-based social justice perspective. It takes program evaluators through the process of defining the problem, outlining objectives, choosing indicators, collecting and analyzing data, and using the findings. The STEPS toolkit includes: 8 e-learning modules; an appendix with pre-existing Indicators; 3 case examples; downloadable worksheets, including causal pathway and logical framework; group exercises and more.
Strategy LandscapeCenter for Effective Philanthropy, Monitor InstituteThe Strategy Landscape™ is an online, interactive data visualization tool that allows groups of funders to easily see and understand grant making strategies and patterns within and across institutions. Delivered by the Center for Effective Philanthropy and created by the Monitor Institute, the tool addresses challenges of communication and collaboration between funders by allowing users to understand who is funding what by strategy. Tool participants are better able to assess the strategic funding landscape, make informed giving decisions and achieve their impact goals.
Subsector ReportRoot CauseThis tool is a report that provides a social impact investor with data about a social issue. It provides an overview of the social issue, key funders and trends in capital allocation, analysis of progress towards establishing indicators for measuring impact, analysis of established innovative and sustainable approaches, and clear recommendations for an investment strategy.
Success Measures Data System (SMDS)NeighborWorks AmericaSuccess Measures Data System (SMDS) is an outcome-based evaluation method for conducting full-scale participatory evaluations of programs to improve neighborhoods and communities. It provides instructions on how to design and complete a participatory outcome-based evaluation, community development outcome indicators, data collection instruments for all indicators such as surveys, interview guides, and forms for tracking administrative and other records, a secure place to enter, manage and store all the data collected for an evaluation, a reporting function that tabulates your data, and guidance on how to integrate learning into programs and advocacy. In addition, Success Measures provides support to participating organizations for additional analysis and reporting of their outcome data, including mapping and integrating publically available secondary data and program records.
Survey of Constituents Receiving "Issue Alerts"Annie E. Casey Foundation, Organizational Research ServicesThis tool is a survey that measures strengthened base of public support. This survey measures the effectiveness of issuing children’s action alerts to members via email, mail and fax. It asks questions such as: Since receiving email alerts am I more knowledgeable about this issue? To which the respondent can respond from strongly disagree to strongly agree.
TBL ScorecardTriple Bottom Line CollaborativeThe TBL Scorecard, developed by the Triple Bottom Line Collaborative, is a tool used to measure what TBLC has called TBL deals. The requirement for this designation was that a TBL loan needed to have at least one metric or impact in each of the three categories of social returns: economy, equity, and environment.
The B Impact Ratings SystemB LabThe B Impact Ratings System is a dynamic assessment tool measuring a company’s social and environmental impact. It is comprised of two parts: the B Impact Assessment and the B Impact Report. The B Impact Assessment is a free, web-based tool designed to be comprehensive yet simple enough for small and medium sized businesses (<$1 Billion) to complete within 60-90 minutes. It is comprised of 60-200 questions divided into five Impact Areas that provide a holistic view of a company’s business: Leadership, Employees, Consumers, Community, and Environment. Each of these Categories is further sub-divided into Goals, fifteen total. The number of questions and weightings are based upon the size and industry sector of a company. The B Impact Report is the simple, one-page report that a company receives after completing the B Impact Assessment. The B Impact Report is designed to make it easy; 1) for consumers, investors, and institutions to make purpose driven consumption, investment, and purchasing decisions; and 2) for entrepreneurs to manage their companies’ social and environmental performance. Oversight of the B Impact Ratings System is the responsibility of B Lab’s Standards Advisory Council, an independent committee of nine members, each respected in the field for their wisdom and each with deep industry or stakeholder expertise. The B Impact Ratings System is used to both certify B Corporations and generate GIIRS ratings.
The Big PictureScottish Council for Voluntary OrganisationsThe Big Picture is a tool that works as an organizational development framework for identifying the strengths and areas for improvement of an organization across all its activities. It is non-prescriptive and does not involve strictly following a set of rules or standards, but provides a broad and coherent set of assumptions about what is required for a good organization and its management.
The Due Dilligence ToolGrantmakers for Effective Organizations, La Piana ConsultingThe Due Diligence Tool for use in pre-grant assessment represents a blending of due diligence best practices compiled from grantmakers from a diverse set of foundations around the country, including private, family, corporate and community foundations, both large and small. The purpose of the guide is to provide a research-based tool for the foundation program officer, whether specialist or generalist, and a methodology for and orientation to thinking about due diligence. The guide is designed to provide program officers questions to ask about the organization’s health, what documents should be reviewed and how to draw conclusions from the gathered information. The guide is designed to be an aid to program officer insight and experience.
The FINCA Client Assessment Tool (FCAT) FINCA The FCAT is an open source tool in the form of a 40 minute survey that measures internationally comparable variables of microfinance clients’ social well-being. The methodology utilizes a "two stage cluster sampling approach" to comprehensively survey clients regarding income sources and dependents, monthly household expenditures, daily per capita expenditures and poverty levels that collectively document expenditures on the six social metrics: household food security, health care, housing, education, empowerment, and social capital. Client responses are directly entered into PDA devices, which facilitate reliable data gathering and analysis.
The Harvard Analytical FrameworkHarvard Institute for International Development, Women in Development office of USAIDThis methodology, also known as the Gender Roles Framework or Gender Analysis Framework, is one of the earliest gender analysis and planning frameworks. It aims to demonstrate that there is an economic rationale for investing in women as well as men, to assist planners to design more efficient projects and improve overall productivity, to emphasize the importance of better information as the basis for meeting the efficiency/equity goal, and to map the work of men and women in the community and highlight the key differences. It includes a matrix for collecting data at the community and household level. The framework also contains a series of key questions to ask at each stage of the project cycle: identification, design, implementation, and evaluation.
The Outcomes StarTriangle ConsultingThe Outcomes Star™ is a suite of tools for supporting and measuring change when working with vulnerable people. There are 14 versions of the Outcomes Star carefully adapted for different client groups and services, including older people, mental health, families, work. The paper version of the Outcomes Star is available free of charge from the Outcomes Star website. The online version gives simultaneous guidance, instant Stars, action plans and reports and is designed to link directly to other client management systems.
The Readiness for Organizational Learning and Evaluation (ROLE) InstrumentFSG, Hallie Preskill & Rosalie T. TorresThis tool is designed to help an organization determine its level of readiness for implementing organizational learning and evaluation practices and processes that support it. The instrument’s results can be used to: 1. Identify the existence of learning organization characteristics; 2. Diagnose interest in conducting evaluation that facilitates organizational learning; 3. Identify areas of strength to leverage evaluative inquiry processes; 4. Identify areas in need of organizational change and development. The organization may use the results to focus its efforts on improving or further strengthening areas that will lead to greater individual, team, and organizational learning.
The Shujog Impact Framework and AssessmentImpact Investment ShujogThe Shujog Impact Framework and Assessment is a methodology for measuring and reporting the social and environmental impact of social enterprises. It first creates an impact framework that builds origanizational and financial accountability to attract investment capital and provides industry and sector benchmarks against which the social enterprise can showcase its performance. The subsequent impact assessment provides future impact milestone verification, measurement, and analysis of the data collected and impact realized. Shujog also offers a certification program for gold standard social enterprises that achieve a high impact assessment score, making them eligible to receive the Shujog Mark.
Theories of ChangeCarol Weiss, et al.This best practice provides a framework for identifying relationships in order to evaluate initiatives' social impacts. It emphasizes the understanding by stakeholders of how exactly the enterprise will generate social impacts and highlights the causal relationships between actions, short term outcomes and long term outcomes.
Theory of Change CommunityActKnowledgeThe TOC website is devoted to the methodology, use and practice of Theory of Change. At this site you'll find, among other things: 1) When TOC can help you and how (planning, re-grouping, evaluation, board meetings); 2) How it is best applied (should the scope of your engagement be a day, a month, or a year?); 3) How TOC can be the basis for a major organizational shift towards focusing on outcomes and accountability, while remaining participatory and transparent; and 4) How TOC has been used recently in key topic areas such as social justice, women’s movements, international justice, youth development, structural racism and more. Additionally, the site features a Facilitator’s Guide, published by the Aspen Roundtable, numerous PowerPoints showing the steps to creating TOCs, and finally, the Theory of Change Online, a web-based online drawing tool and database custom designed to create, store, and share Theories of Change. ActKnowledge also offers training and workshops to assist organizations in developing their TOCs.
TrucostTrucost PLCTrucost is a tool for companies to see and manage their environmental impact. Trucost rates the efficiency of a company's operations and provides clients with an understanding of the financial risks to a company if it had to pay for its environmental impacts. A global input-output model is used to estimate the amount of resources a company uses to produce goods or services and the related level of pollutants.
Trustee Evaluation ToolkitFSGThe Trustee Evaluation Toolkit offers best practices from interviews with dozens of foundation trustees, CEOs, and evaluation experts. The toolkit explores brief case studies that show how foundation trustees are successfully employing different types of evaluation for a variety of purposes. In addition, it provides a self-assessment survey for foundation trustees, a framework for trustee conversations, a facilitator's guide, and a planning guide for foundation trustees to create a custom action plan for improving performance through evaluation.
Understanding Software for Program EvaluationIdealwareThis best practice outlines the aspects of successful program management and evaluation, with a focus on the types of software that can facilitate them. It breaks program evaluation data collection, use, and reporting down into five discrete elements (central program data hub, auxiliary data systems, proactive data gathering, existing data gathering, and reporting/visualization) and delves into the tools used by various organization types for each category.
Volunteering Impact Assessment ToolkitInstitute for Volunteering ResearchThe Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit contains tools developed by IVR to help organizations and groups to measure and assess the impacts of volunteering. It is designed to be simple and adaptable so that organizations can use it in ways that are most useful to them. The Toolkit contains a set of research methods or instruments to help organizations assess the impacts of volunteering on different stakeholders or parties. These include: questionnaires; focus group topic guides; volunteer diaries; and volunteer manager audit forms.
Volunteerism ROI TrackerTrue Impact (with Points of Light/HandsOn Network)The Volunteerism ROI Tracker is a web-based tool that allows non-profit organizations and socially conscious businesses to analyze their community outreach by examining social and business-related ROI. It allows users to analyze the value of volunteer activities and offers suggestions for improving their outputs and outcomes, as well as benchmarks for comparison.
Wallace Assessment ToolWallace FoundationThis is a method to assess foundation impact. The method asks four core questions with varying indicators by program area. The questions are: 1) Are our grantee partners satisfactorily executing their plans? 2) Are our partners incorporating the changes they are making in the way they do their work? 3) Are people in our grantee sites benefiting? 4) Are we producing and effectively promoting useful knowledge?
Women's Empowerment FrameworkSara Hlupekile LongweThe Women’s Empowerment Framework offers a best practice that was developed by gender expert Sara Hlupekile Longwe to assist organizations in identifying what women’s empowerment and equality means in practice, and then examining to what extent an intervention is supporting this equality and empowerment. Longwe’s framework is based on the concept of five different levels of equality (control, participation, conscientisation, access and welfare) across three levels of program effect (positive, neutral or negative impact). Expounding on this framework is Longwe’s 2002 essay, Spectacles for Seeing Gender in Project Evaluation, in which she provides a guide for looking at evaluation design, a project plan, evaluation questions, and a lens through which we can recognize and analyze gender issues, and see the process of women’s empowerment.