Impact management is crucial in ensuring that nonprofits stay on the path of growth. It involves three things — evidence building, program management, and financial management. Understanding all of these components and knowing how to integrate them into your organization is the key to positive change. Keep reading to learn more about these components.
Evidence Building for Development
In the past, siloed teams measured impact — they had to collect good data with limited reach and coordination with other departments. In companies with solid impact management processes, however, everyone is involved in generating evidence and use cases. Continuous evidence building is the way to create multiple jump-off points and constantly innovate in the company.
Don’t discount the insights you can get from members who aren’t executives or in middle management. Whether you’re a transnational organization or a brand new one, continuous evidence building will help you understand your different programs’ impact. Make this process more efficient by hiring professionals who specialize in Salesforce for nonprofits.
While rigor is crucial in building evidence and generating insights, you must adopt a broader view of what it means to be ‘rigorous.’
Beyond producing results that you can assess quantitatively, your impact management practice must enable you to gather relevant evidence and use it to make decisions.
People-Centered Program Management
Besides having a system for gathering data and using it in programmatic decision-making, you need to consider participant feedback. Impact management doesn’t just measure the bottom line — it also gauges organizational health in terms of its participants’ sentiments.
For example, if your organization records an exceptionally high turnover rate in a particular demographic group, your priority should be to understand why this happens. Conducting conversations through interviews or focus groups will help you learn why people are leaving and how you can prevent it in the future. For programs to work, people should be happy to carry them out — if you don’t look after your workers, the company’s growth stalls as well.
Integrated Approach to Financial Management
For nonprofits, their mission is a significant factor in each major decision. Organizations must strike a balance between generating profits and staying true to the cause they’re championing. When considering revenue opportunities or reducing expenses, it is crucial to take an integrated approach to financial management.
Organizations without an impact management focus might only consider the financial implications of their plans and the expenses they might save on if they make certain decisions. Those who consider their mission alongside their growth plans will ask what evidence says about how these changes would affect participants’ outcomes. An impact-centric organization will be ready to forego opportunities to expand if it comes with adverse long-term outcomes.
Determining your fiscal capabilities will be much easier when your team uses client relationship management tools like Salesforce. If your nonprofit doesn’t use CRM tools or other software for sales and nurturing leads, hiring specialists to help you with Salesforce training is a good start.
Gauging Your Efforts
Beyond integrating impact management in decision-making, you have to reflect on its effectiveness. Are you collecting the correct impact data and making the best decisions? Impact management is tied with everything, from reporting systems to performance management and even beneficiary outcomes.
If feedback systems aren’t reliable — if managers make decisions without consulting participants’ input — people won’t feel trusted. This situation will cause them to distrust the company in turn. Repairing broken feedback loops will enable teams to strengthen outcomes, gather better data, and share the decision-making process.
Integrating impact management into your organization helps you cultivate a healthy path toward growth. To create a management strategy that strengthens your nonprofit, you need three things — continuous evidence building, participant-centered program management, and an integrated plan for financial management. These three act as legs that bolster your organization’s initiatives and help you deliver results.
Apphienz understands the unique needs of nonprofit organizations. We specialize in Salesforce for nonprofits, helping mission-driven organizations enter and thrive in the digital space. Book a call with our team for more information!