Measuring Impact


Documents, Links, Trainings

NCN Webinar – Building Your Case: Evaluation Strategies for Shared Space
NCN Webinar – Making Connections: Network Evaluation for Shared Spaces
NCN’s Energize: High Impact Shared Spaces – 3 Key Takeaways and Future Trainings
NCN’s Online Resource Center: Evaluation and Impact Documents
NCN’s Blog: Social Return on Investment to Your Shared Space
Stanford Social Innovation Review’s Metrics 3.0: A New Vision for Shared Metrics


Topics Below (Ask-NCN Discussions)

Metrics for Measuring Program Success
Survey Samples

See also Evaluation Project


Metrics for Measuring Program Success

From an Ask-NCN conversation, 2/13/15


Bruce DeMartini, Thoreau Center for Sustainability
Could someone help me find some tools or metrics to measure programming success? I’ve been running programs for many years but can’t really measure whether or not I’m succeeding in my efforts. I’ve conducted an impact assessment, surveyed the tenants but the results seem very mixed. I would like to be able to answer with specifics about what is successful in the programming that I provide. Some examples of what I do include tenant-led brown bags, some workshops on capacity building, art gallery exhibitions. We also just opened a new “hub” space for tenants and their guests. The space provides a means for tenants to meet each other in a more welcoming environment. We would like to measure the success of this new “hub” space, later.


Lara Jakubowski, The Nonprofit Centers Network
NCN’s March webinar will be on evaluation and measuring success [SEE ABOVE LINK]. We are also in the early stages of developing a “Collaboration Project” that will begin in June as a peer learning community to establish common definitions, metrics and evaluation techniques around collaboration. Stay tuned for more information on both.


Pat Smith, Serve Denton
Thanks for asking this post. Of all things that keep up at night is this very subject. We are far from there but have finally gotten the right people on our Collaboration Committee to help transform talk to action. We have added a gentlemen from Citigroup (as a volunteer) who spends all day working on metrics for their mortgage business. In a short period of time he has helped us develop a framework in the attached document. Much of the discussion in building the framework centered around an article that appeared in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR) last summer titled “Metrics 3.0“. I won’t summarize the article here but have included it.


We wanted to be able look at three different levels of impact (High–mission/vision, Medium–goals/strategy, and Low–tactics/activities) and also through three different lenses (triple bottom line) of economic, social, and environmental. We initially received some push back on those linkages, but when we showed the connection between environmental metrics being a leading indicator for costs (less waste generally less cost), and less cost means more program funding which leads to more services than the light bulbs came on.


We are far from a finished product but I believe the framework could be adjusted for any nonprofit center. I would be happy to discuss at your convenience.



Survey Samples

From an Ask-NCN conversation on 10/12/15


Alison Hanold, Literacenter, 10/12/15
We are looking to develop our first survey to measure our impact on our member organizations. There are some good resources out there about what and what can’t be measured with regards to collaboration, member satisfaction, and financial impact. But, we’re still starting from square 1 when it comes to questions.


I’m throwing it out to the group – How do you measure your impact? If you use a survey, would you mind sharing it with me? What worked and what didn’t? What were the best measures for you?


Katie Edwards 10/12/15
We currently have two resources in the Online Resource Center around tenant surveys:


One is an instrument created by Dr. Diane Vinokur Kaplan to survey the tenants of the Wilson Historic District. It’s a very detailed tool, that might have some relevant pieces for you.


The second is the results of a survey conducted by the Agora Foundation with the tenants of Toronto’s Centre for Social Innovation. It includes survey methodology, questions and responses.


If anyone has other survey tools they’d be willing to share, please send them out through the listserv!

Last updated byNonprofit Centers Network