Stories from the Field: Measuring Impact


Over the past three or four years that I’ve worked in the US cultural sector, I’ve noticed that arts organizations are experimenting with the way that we count.  Or, perhaps it is more accurate to say that we are developing more holistic ways of measuring what really counts.  The recent Counting New Beans study challenged theaters to go beyond economic impact or numbers of “butts in seats” to measure the intrinsic value of their work.  Similarly, many organizations are striving to measure intangibles such as attitudinal change or increased … [Read more...]

The Limits of Nonprofit Impact – HBS Working Paper

Nonprofits are under growing pressure to demonstrate their impact to funders as well as taxpayers. This working paper argues that while performance measurement is a helpful management tool, it is not always appropriate to focus on impacts depending on the scale and scope of an organization's activities and theory of change. Though the examples focus on poverty alleviation, the discussion and questions are highly relevant for all nonprofits. The Limits of Nonprofit Impact - HBS Working Paper. … [Read more...]