This semester, SOURCE began an internal shift from standing committees to transitional task forces. These task forces consist of small groups of consultants with a focused, short-term goal that can be efficiently accomplished with this adaptive workflow model. In an effort to further the SOURCE mission, the IMPACT Taskforce was created to better quantify SOURCE’s impact on its students, clients, and community.
After recruiting seven active members in early February, our team hit the ground running with an intensive workshop series with the KLI Director of Social Innovation and Impact, Gemma Bulos. The program was designed to provide quantitative and qualitative tools for impact analysis, specifically for organizations with social causes. For these workshops, In the workshops, we broke down our mission statement and pinpointed our most consequential contributions to the greater Claremont community. Specifically, we built out a logic model, a comprehensive outline of an organization’s resources, activities, and the underlying assumptions that drive success. For example, SOURCE’s work is built on the critical assumption that the academic backgrounds and perspectives of undergraduate students is advantageous to nonprofit organization. After identifying these elements, the outputs and outcomes of our consulting services are identified such as our client deliverables and community building. Overall, the exercise is helpful for any organization looking to assess their resources and infrastructure and determine how these assets can be used to reach potential objectives. By doing these exercises, the Taskforce was able to identify strengths and weaknesses of current impact tracking practices and target the greatest areas of improvement.
Following the workshop, we have narrowed our focus to measuring our external impact, specifically the effectiveness and sustainability of client deliverables ranging from board development to strategic planning. In the next few months, we will be creating standardized reports to measure the input of each deliverable to the client’s overall development. Other comprehensive metrics will also be researched to strengthen our annual report, a summary of our contribution to both the community and our students. We hope that this report will showcase SOURCE’s impact on local nonprofit, improve our credibility within the Claremont community, and inspire other organizations to invest in similar practices. Impact analysis is an incredibly helpful tool for any nonprofit searching for ways to better their internal or demonstrate the value of their work. The information gathered from impact analysis can often be presented to potential donors and grant providers for a more quantitative representation of the organization’s work. By understanding exactly how resources translate to strong outcomes, nonprofits can explain and support their proposals for expanded funding or greater resources. Stay tuned for the SOURCE Year End Report coming this summer for inspiration to build your own impact analysis!