Learning

Welcome to the Impact Practice learning program – the world’s first comprehensive digital learning package on social impact measurement. Unlock interactive, video-based learning that can be completed online at the pace, location and time of your choosing. Get access to up to 10 courses that provide everything you will need to plan, measure, and share your impact.

Impact practice 101

You’re probably reading this course overview because you recognize the need for better ways to account for the good work of your social enterprise. You are not alone! This introductory course demystifies the strange and frightening world of social impact measurement. It provides a quick start guide to the ten building blocks of better ‘impact practice’ … covering all the bases, from being clear on your social mission, to planning your intended results, collecting performance data effectively, through to reporting in a compelling way and using evidence to grow impact. If that’s not enough, the course introduces a free online tool designed to help gauge your impact practice and identify improvement areas.

Heard about social impact measurement but feeling just a little behind the curve? Well, start your journey here.

1. Establishing Your Mission

All social enterprises are on a mission to change society for the better. To achieve this you must start with a razor-sharp description of your mission; one that will help you to operate with focus and determine the outcomes you will need to work towards and measure. This course examines how you can define the cause  of your social enterprise and build a mission that will propel your work forward and determine its success.

Need to find your north star and guide the way for others around you? Then this course is for you.

2. Defining Your Business Model

Social enterprises apply a business approach to achieving their mission and solving social needs. To deliver sustained and measurable impact you must first find a business model that works for you. This course explores the main approaches and business models that every social entrepreneur should know about. Through activities and examples, the course equips you with the tools you will need to design, describe and ultimately build a more impactful business.

Want to find the sweet spot between mission and money? Look no further.

3. Identifying your value proposition

Every social enterprise exists to create value to society. This is can be neatly summed up in a ‘value proposition’ which explains how your work solves social problems and the things that make your work distinctive, successful and uniquely valuable to others. This course has been designed to help you define your value proposition. It introduces a ground-breaking new way of identifying the value you bring to customers, the basis for your financial success, the responsible behaviours that make you stand out from the crowd, and the social changes that describe your intended impact.

Want to change the world but struggling to explain how and why it’s important? Look no further.

4. Planning your intended change

For social enterprises to deliver real and lasting change they must first be clear on what success looks like and they will deliver it. To do this you must find a way of connecting the strategies of your social enterprise with its performance and the results you ultimately achieve. Through practical activities and examples, this course will help you to build a simple but effective results framework or ‘impact blueprint’ for your organization.

Getting in a muddle between Theory of Change and Logic Models? Can’t tell your outputs from your outcomes? Not sure why any of this matters? Then this course is for you.

5. Using performance measures

All social enterprises are on a journey to deliver change; social, economic or environmental. As such, they depend on good performance measures to show progress and determine whether changes are occurring as expected. This course will help you understand the power of performance measures. It shows you how to source, select and apply the right measures, and apply them with confidence. It also introduces pioneering ways that you can express measures in monetary terms and convince others of the social return on investment from your work.

Want to change the world but getting lost in a fog of measures, indicators and metrics? Navigate your journey with the tools provided here.

6. Collecting useful information

Everyone’s talking about the power of good data. However, good data is only possible with good data collection. Through practical examples and activities, this course will help you identify the data, data collection methods and tools you will need to produce reliable and persuasive impact evidence. It introduces practical outcomes tools you can use right now to measure the subtle but critical changes previously considered unmeasurable (in beneficiary behaviour, attitudes, circumstances, knowledge, and status).

Not sure where to start? Then check out our ten simple tips for better data collection and a simpler life.

7. Gauging performance and impact

Information is only as good as the use it is put to. Social enterprises therefore need to be able to analyze data effectively if they are to generate useful insights and establish whether intended outcomes have been achieved. This course provides the knowledge and tools you will need to gauge performance and impact. Through a series of activities and examples, the course shows you how to analyze data and make useful comparisons using targets, baselines and benchmarks. It also shows you how to make sense of the data you hold and draw out the important implications for your work.

Drowning in a sea of numbers? Then let this be your life raft.

8. Reporting on results

The way that social enterprises report on impact is critical in determining their credibility, accountability and ability to influence. Even with a little data, you can do a lot. This course describes the main principles of good impact reporting and shows you how to use your data to report in a balanced and compelling way. It covers: written formats that will allow you to report with clarity and impact; great story-telling techniques that will help to convey the human stories behind your achievements; and simple visual techniques that will make your data both engaging and accessible.

Getting weighed down by the same dull reports? Look no further.

9. Communicating with impact

They say knowledge is power; well only if you do something with it! While many social enterprises have really useful evidence they still fail to communicate it fully to others. This course gives you the knowledge and tools you will need to establish your communication goals, determine your target audience, shape persuasive messages, and get these messages across effectively. It introduces tried and tested communication methods that can help your social enterprise to share its impact evidence, amplify its message and attract more support for its cause.

Ready to shout your message from the rooftops? Well, start right here.

10. Using evidence to grow impact

The ultimate goal of good impact practice is to achieve a virtuous cycle of improvement – clear goals, visible performance, growing learning, improved results, increased support, and so on. This course explains how you can build an ever-stronger impact culture within your social enterprise and continue to use your evidence to grow impact. Through clear instruction and useful activities, the course shows you how to share and learn from evidence, how to act on it, how to influence others, and how to ramp up your achievements.

Done the hard job of collecting and communicating your evidence, and want to take things to the next level? Check out this final course in our impact practice series.