A defining characteristic of social enterprises is their explicit social purpose. Questioning whether they have a social impact seems therefore pointless, at best. Yet, in recent years social entrepreneurs have been asked to show their actual impact.
Some have seen this as a ticking exercise. But social impact measurement is an opportunity for social enterprises to improve and increase their reach and influence.
What is it good for?
Most social enterprises have started to measure their impact to respond to founders’ requirements. However, measuring the effect of one’s activities can also help companies with the following among others:
- To evaluate the success of one’s mission
- To be accountable to your stakeholders
- To learn more about your “customer’s” satisfaction
- To promote innovation
- To make better use of your resources
- To improve your communication and marketing strategy
- To adapt your growth strategy to actual and current needs of your “customers”
Despite currently not being an internationally recognised system or common methodology for measuring and reporting social impact, in the last few years main actors within the field such as the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) have adopted the theory of change as a guideline of what a good impact measurement practice is.