Impact Reporting | The Importance of the Outcome
Take a look at any recent Corporate Social Responsibility report, and you’ll find statistics highlighting the hours volunteered, dollars donated, and charities supported by philanthropic contributions to a community. While the imagery and callouts provide substantial proof for CSR programs, they can’t always accurately depict the immediate impact that organizations are having within communities.
Too often, corporations only take their CSR reporting so far, stopping with the output – tracking hours volunteered, dollars donated, and charities supported. However, they fail to ask the question, “Why do our stakeholders care?”
Moving one step further and measuring the outcome impact of an organization’s CSR program helps provide further evidence of the difference employees are having in a community and more accurately answers the question, “so what?”
When one of your employee engagement programs is a volunteer opportunity that matches your employees with students for one-on-one mentoring and tutoring session, the inputs can include the volunteers themselves, books, writing utensils, computers, budget, and any other things needed to operate the session.
Various activities may include helping with homework problems, teaching computer functionality, or participating in an extracurricular sport or game that can boost the students’ confidence.
Outputs are tangible results produced from the engagement program. In this case, hours volunteered, number of students mentored, etc.
Something that is often forgotten after an engagement activity is measuring the final and most important component, the outcome results. These performance indicators show the intended impact of your CSR initiative and the specific, measurable return on the volunteer work given by your employees.
Employee engagement programs such as mentoring and tutoring may produce outcomes like improved reading comprehension, increased computer literacy, stronger learning strategies, and increased confidence and self-esteem. Seeing positive outcomes like these while working alongside nonprofit partners to achieve decided goals indicates that your tutoring and mentoring programs are successful.
When an organization provides insight into how donations are being used, it adds a depth and breadth to the mission that could not be gained any other way. Continue reading our Challenges of Reporting to see how organizations determine these performance indicators and discover why impact reporting is so important.
Adding statistics that indicate the effectiveness of your CSR programs will improve the power of your reports, along with helping your nonprofit partners understand the impact of their partnership with your organization. Increasingly, your leadership and your employee-base will be able to more accurately recognize the positive transformation your company’s programs have made within your communities.
If increased program engagement and results are on your mind, we suggest you connect with nonprofit partners to begin discussing potential outcomes you hope to achieve through shared initiatives. For organizations eager to make a difference while showing a greater level of impact, it is important to move beyond the basic metrics and report upon real and sustainable change. Additionally, register for our upcoming webinar with Jason Anthoine of Audacity, as he leads our discussion on Earning Your Seat at the Table with Data through the use of output vs. outcome measurement.