Guide Measuring the Impact of the Nonprofit Sector

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Measuring what matters in nonprofits

Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Abstract Scholars have examined the effects of various environmental factors on the nonprofit sector to elucidate the role of nonprofits in modern society. Citing Literature.

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Guest Article: Social Impact… The nonprofit currency of the future

Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. More and more nonprofits, grantmakers, and government partners, are focusing on outcomes , rather than "outputs.

The National Council of Nonprofits and its state association network encourage nonprofits to embrace a culture that supports evaluating the difference your nonprofit is making. This requires first identifying "what does success look like? Finally, it's important also to communicate what you are discovering, and use those lessons to continuously improve performance.

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All of this is referred to variously as, "outcomes measurement," or "performance management," or simply, "evaluation. If you are just becomining familiar with this topic we recommend a powerful and easy-to-read book, Leap of Reason, that explains how nonprofits and grantmakers and governments have a responsibility to the individuals and communities we all serve to be as effective as possible. The authors go on to stress that in an environment of increasingly limited resources, those nonprofits that can demonstrate that they are truly making an impact will be the ones most likely to attract resources and talent, and therefore be most sustainable.

As Leap of Reason points out — measuring outcomes is not just about attracting resources to your nonprofit; it's about the mission. Your nonprofit will only know that it is indeed helping individuals, solving problems in communities, and protecting the environment etc. Here are some resources to help your organization along an intentional path that we hope will lead to the most effective delivery of your nonprofit's programs and services, and advancement of its mission.

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