5. Using Performance Measures /

5.2 Identifying relevant performance measures


We have identified performance measures that are relevant to our work.

To meet the standard in full, you have looked in ‘indicator banks’ for relevant performance measures and considered indicators used by others in your area of work. You have taken into consideration what matters most to your stakeholders, and adopted indicators that are consistent with the change you seek to make.

Social enterprises can often find it particularly challenging to come up with good performance indicators.

Performance indicators are simply signs of the things you do, deliver and change. They help indicate whether planned changes are (or are not) happening.

There are generally three main sources of indicators that you might wish to consider:

  1. Self-Defined Indicators. You can design your own indicators. This will ensure that the indicators closely match the work you do and the results you hope to achieve.
  2. Required Indicators. You can use indicators that funders set, perhaps as a condition of your grant or loan. You might have to report regularly against these. However, on their own these are unlikely to tell the full story of your performance and impact.
  3. Standardized Indicators. You can identify and select indicators that others are using. More and more indicators are being compiled nationally and internationally to make the job of reporting more consistent and straightforward.

Before coming up with your own indicators, it can be worth taking time to examine the standardized indicator sets now available. Some international indicator banks that are worth checking out, include:

  • The Global Value Exchange (GVE) is a crowd-sourced database intended to enable greater consistency and transparency in measuring social and environmental values.
  • The Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) provides a global set of standards and indicators for sustainability reporting, including a range of economic, environmental and social impacts.
  • IRIS (Impact Reporting and Investment Standards) is the catalogue of metrics that leading impact investors use to measure social, environmental, and financial success.

The use of indicator banks can save you time by identifying indicators that others have developed, tested and shared. These can also come with credibility because of their widespread use.

Increasingly indicator banks are being built into software applications designed to make the job of impact reporting even more straightforward.