The new year is often a time for reflecting and goal setting. For philanthropists, these goals have the potential to create impact. In this issue of our Tech for Good Series, we’re exploring how givers can make their goals a reality by tracking impact over time.
Tracking impact can seem daunting. There are many kinds of metrics that can be tracked, including general dollars given, specific programs optimized, populations supported, and geographic regions influenced. Additionally, the operational task of tracking can be burdensome and uninformative. The pure reliance on data associated with impact measurement has been reevaluated and called to task over the past few years.
The question that the industry grapples with is how to put these principles into practice, specifically as it relates to collecting data that’s needed without adding the burden that can come with it. Many approaches have been examined, including having more in-person interactions, relying on referrals from other grantmakers and using data that is already publicly available.
For thousands of private foundations, technology is playing a key role in enabling the use of multiple methodologies for data collection and impact measurement. One such platform is Impactfully, which includes an Impact Planner tool that automates data collection and produces easy-to-read reports. Having a flexible tool that maintains consistent record keeping and provides real-time transparency to the foundation members is the key to achieving mission-related goals.
Having a tool with impact-tracking capabilities is only half the solution. The other half is making sure that the tool is easy to use. Our clients find value in Impactfully for both of these reasons. The Mike & Patti Hennessy Foundation is one example. Executive Director Shannon Pulaski had Foundation Source examine the operational details of how the foundation is benefiting from using technology.
“The platform has an intuitive interface, which made the process of getting started a simple one and helped to ensure that the team is comfortable utilizing this tool to its full potential,” said Shannon. “It has been a key tool that has helped to keep board members organized, engaged and informed. The Impactfully team has provided personal service, which helped our foundation to integrate this tool into our daily processes.”
Real impact goes beyond just dollars granted, but includes being able to see the collaborative efforts of grants made in real time to give a continuous view into where there is need and allow for qualitative and quantitative data to come together and show how goals turn into impact.
To learn more about the role technology can play in helping your giving go further, schedule a call with us or call us at 800.839.0054.