How to Measure Nonprofit Impact

As a nonprofit organization, measuring and providing an accurate model of your impact shows that you can generate results. This is important for your staff, board and supporters. 

Internally, measuring your impact allows you to assess what’s going well and identify areas for growth. For your donors and volunteers, measuring impact enables you to demonstrate how their contributions are creating positive change in the community you serve. 

Depending on your organization’s mission, impact can mean many things - from funds raised to goods donated, hours trained, voters registered, or volunteer hours served. That’s why it’s essential to have a range of tools available to track and analyze your progress towards each goal.

Today, the GivePulse team is diving into how you can measure impact as a nonprofit community.

Identify Your Goals

Every nonprofit is different, so when measuring the impact of your work, start with the basics. By identifying measurable, mission-specific goals, you’ll be able to set benchmarks for success so you can begin tracking your progress.

Bring your team together to answer some simple questions. You can adjust these to align with your cause, but these include:

  • What work are you doing, and who are you serving?
  • What kind of results are you hoping for?
  • What resources do you need to gather to support this work? (This will probably include volunteers, donations, and in-kind gifts.)
  • What would success look like? 
  • How do you plan to bring your goals to life? How long will it take?
  • Are there any particular circumstances to consider?

Using this set of questions as a reference gives you direction. You will know what you are working towards, how you can achieve it, and what challenges you may encounter. Once you’re all clear on direction, set some goals. Make these as specific as possible. For instance, you may want to have recruited 50 new volunteers by the end of your second quarter.

Monitor your progress against these goals over time and adjust as necessary. You’ll be surprised at how quickly your organization grows when everyone is moving in the same direction!

Set Up Tracking Systems

Now that you have identified your goals, you need to set up a reliable way to measure your progress. Managing a nonprofit can be hectic, and it’s easy to overlook the importance of a solid data management strategy. Luckily, deploying the right tools can help streamline this administrative work. 

As an organization, you need to constantly gather and analyze data. How many hours are your volunteers working? How many donations did you receive this quarter? Are memberships up? Are you communicating frequently enough?

A nonprofit customer relationship management (CRM) platform like GivePulse offers an all-in-one solution to manage volunteers, memberships, events, fundraisers, and community engagement opportunities, and measure impact.

Because it stores all of your data, from contact lists to volunteer schedules, a CRM makes it easy for your team to run reports and check you’re on track to meet your goals. Our data visualization tools allow you to display data in intuitive, digestible graphs and charts. Looking for data from a specific category or period of time? It’s easy to hone your selection using our tagging feature or date filters.

Measure Your Impact Today

Providing accurate data on the work of your nonprofit is crucial. Along with supporting a culture of continuous improvement within your organization, it helps you acquire new resources from granting bodies (like foundations) and individual donors.

GivePulse offers a user-friendly, all-in-one platform that streamlines data collection and analysis for nonprofits, making it easy and intuitive to measure your impact on an ongoing basis. 

Get started with GivePulse by booking a demo today!



About GivePulse

GivePulse's mission is to enable everyone in the world to participate and engage in lifting their community to new heights. We do so by providing a platform to list, find, organize and measure the impact of service-learning, community engagement, philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and volunteerism.

Founded in 2012 in Austin, Texas, GivePulse works with 650,000+ groups, including colleges and universities, nonprofits, businesses, K-12/school districts and cities and municipalities. Together, we connect millions of people in an effort to create positive social change.

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