Chances are, if you’re reading this, you already know the importance of measuring your nonprofit’s impact. If you just happened to stumble upon this digital impact mapping template and don’t really know why you should be measuring your nonprofit’s impact or want an explanation of the Theory of Change, then I would start with our “Simple Guide to Measuring Nonprofit Impact” article. If you know why you should be measuring digital impact and want to jump right into laying out an impact map for your organization, you have come to the right place.
We’re going to provide you with a digital impact mapping template – the one Whole Whale uses for all of our clients – and give you some step-by-step instructions and examples from our clients to get you started. The point of this impact map is to make it clear to everyone – your board, your boss, your team, your outside consultants – what are the goals you are working toward, and how they support your overall mission. Making this connection helps prove the value of the time you put into your digital strategy and keeps everyone on the same page. Ready? Let’s do this.You know measuring your nonprofit's impact is important, but how do you do it? Here's how: Click To Tweet
Answer the Impact Survey Questions
If you haven’t already taken a look at our Impact Survey and feel confident answering most of those questions, I would start there. The Impact Survey will help you and your team members think strategically about your organization’s purpose which will in turn make filling out the BHAG Chart much, much easier. At Whole Whale, we always ask our clients to have multiple staff members (from CEO all the way to Associate) fill out the survey.
Download Whole Whale’s BHAG (Big Huge Ambitious Goal) Chart
Make a copy of the BHAG Chart from Google Drive.
The Big Huge Ambitious Goal (BHAG)
Think BIG – like, really big. 100 years from now – what will be your organization’s claim to fame?
You can also think about this in another way – what would it take for your nonprofit to “go out of business”?
Example: Move the needle on the way 200,000 social impact organizations leverage data and technology.
Your programmatic goals should be the 2-5 specific ways you are going to achieve the BHAG. These can still be slightly general and don’t need to be specific to digital.
1.Services- Provide excellent digital agency services to great organizations at an affordable rate
2.Content- Create the best multimedia, educational content focused on social impact and technology
3.Products – Build simple, scalable tools that connect organizations with their data
Flush out those Digital Goals
For each programmatic goal, think of the specific ways you will achieve that goal digitally. See the pattern here? As we move down the chart, we get more and more specific. If one of your programmatic goals is to “create the best educational content focused on social impact and technology” – how would you do that with the help of your website and / or other digital tools?
1.Build audience across web, video and audio content channels
2.Grow newsletter list so we can share our education content with these users
Set Measurable Metrics
Finally – time for the numbers. Metrics are how you are going to measure the success of your digital goals. The metrics below are for the digital goals listed in the example above.
1.# of newsletter signups
2.# of video views on YouTube
3.# of podcast downloads
4.# of users reading online article resources
Slightly optimistic numbers should be set for every metric on a yearly basis and reviewed quarterly. You can put these goals directly in the chart or in a separate goal-keeping deck. Whole Whale does the later. We use our BHAG chart as the outline & have a deck that we update quarterly with our exact numbers for the year. Reviewing the metrics (or KPIs – key performance indicators) that funnel into your digital goals → programmatic goals → BHAG on a quarterly basis will tell you how close you are to reaching those annual goals.
Now that we’ve gone through all of the pieces – here is what they look like all together in the chart (click to expand):
- Your digital impact map isn’t static. It’s okay for it to change as your organization grows.
- Don’t forget to actually measure impact. Now that you have this pretty chart to plaster all over your office, make sure you actually measure those metrics and present them to the team – yes, the whole team – on a consistent basis. Over at Whole Whale, we have Google Analytics dashboards emailed out weekly to key staff members with our Google Analytics goals and then have those staff members report on those metrics during our quarterly team meetings.
- Speaking of Google Analytics goals – make sure you have those set up! Your measurable metrics are the perfect examples of goals your organization could be measuring in Google Analytics.
Downloading our digital impact mapping template? Let us know if you have any questions or how this chart has helped your nonprofit measure its digital impact!