Partnering for measured impact

By Keri-Leigh Paschal

Due to the COVID-19 and economic reality there is a marked decrease in both private sector and government funding to address the social ills in our nation. This at a time when social needs have increased dramatically. 

According to a recent survey by Nation Builder, 72% of non-profit organisations (NPOs) said demand for their services had increased while their funding had decreased. This means both social investors and implementing organisations, or NPOs, are urgently having to re-prioritise the effective deployment of resources for the greatest possible long-term, sustainable social impact.

Often, there’s a tendency to want to tackle everything alone. But the magnitude of our social problems is such that no one organisation, or even the government, can do this on their own. We need to partner to ensure amplified social development.

The silver lining that we’ve seen emerging from the pandemic is that there’s been a lot more collaboration in the NPO space, with organisations finding innovative ways to reduce costs, duplication and effort, and have a greater impact on their communities.

Measuring social impact

A first step in trying to better understand impact is to report in a way that makes it easier to see where viable collaborations present themselves. Right now, the trend in the social investment space is towards more effectively measuring the social impact of business endeavours and social investment efforts.

To support this, more than 95 NPOs and businesses from the Nation Builder community have been working to establish a standardised reporting guideline for impact management reporting. This guideline, to be launched in March 2021, will set a solid foundation for alignment on reporting approaches in the sector.

Nation Builder will also launch an impact management reporting masterclass series in May 2021. These masterclasses will take participants on a deep dive into the various aspects of impact reporting.

Ultimately, the aim with these complimentary resources is that they will assist in ensuring that every investment of time or resources helps achieve effective and sustainable change in the lives of fellow South Africans.

Email nationbuilder@mergon.co.za if you’d like to join the Impact Measurement conversation.

Keri-Leigh Paschal is the executive trustee and co-founder of the Nation Builder Trust, a Mergon  initiative. Keri joined the Mergon Group in 2011 and the Nation Builder Trust was officially launched in 2012. Nation Builder inspires and equips the business community in South Africa to lead social change.

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