5 Key Metrics for Measuring Your Social Impact

5 Key Metrics for Measuring Your Social Impact

Measuring your social impact is vital to ensure you deliver on your goals and mission. It can help you secure more funding, show your areas of improvement and demonstrate your work’s impact on others.

Effective social impact measurement involves several elements, from outputs and outcomes to attribution and measurement. Here are five key metrics you should consider.


When evaluating your social impact, like how to measure social impact, there are two types of outputs you need to consider. These are the direct products and services you provide to people (results) and the long-term effects of those programs (outcomes).

The first step is developing a logic model that includes your organization’s goals and objectives concerning one or more social issues. Like strategy maps and causal linkage models commonly used by for-profit business organizations, a logic model focuses on hypothesized relationships between inputs, activities, and outcomes that will drive achieving the desired social impact.

In most cases, developing a logic model is a significant challenge for organizations and project teams with a social mission. But it’s also a crucial step in measuring social impact.

After successfully formulating a comprehensive theory of change, companies should collect the right data accordingly. This process will help them analyze their results and improve their social impact strategies in the future. In addition, it will also help them formulate productive results reports to validate their social impact efforts effectively.


Attribution is a term used to describe how people make cause-and-effect inferences about their experiences. It’s a crucial part of psychology and has been studied since the beginning of the 20th century by scientists such as Fritz Heider, Harold Kelley, and Bernard Weiner.

According to attribution theory, attributions are based on internal vs. external, stable vs. unstable, and controllability vs. probability.

A person who wins an art contest may decide it was because of their ability (internal attribution) or because the judges are friends of their parents (external attribution). These attributions are called dispositional attributions and have been linked to self-serving bias.

In marketing, attribution can be complicated, with multiple campaigns working together to push customers down the buying funnel. Choosing an attribution model that works for your organization is essential to ensure all the campaigns you align with your goals.


Impact measurement is a crucial step to take when launching a social project. It can help you understand the effectiveness of your impact strategy and make data-driven decisions to improve social and environmental outcomes.

To choose the right metrics for your program, you must first define your desired impact and what you want to measure. This can be done through a theory of change or logic model, which purpose-driven organizations across industries frequently use.

You should also consider the impact metrics already used by similar nonprofits and determine if they can serve as a reference or benchmark for your work. If you still need to, you may need to develop your framework.

Often, the best way to start is by aligning your social impact strategy with a measurement framework that aligns with industry standards and best practices. One such framework is the Five Dimensions of Impact, developed by the Impact Management Project. This framework helps investors and enterprises align their impact strategies with widely accepted standards for measuring social, environmental, and financial outcomes.


You must establish a system founded on evidence to measure your social impact. This will allow you to gain high-quality customer insights that will help you drive essential business decisions.

A good measurement strategy will include indicators, data collection tools, and results reporting. This will vary depending on your organization and the issue you’re tackling.

Once you have identified your indicators and developed your data collection tools, it’s time to start measuring. This can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

The main challenge when it comes to impact measurement is figuring out the correct methodology and system that’s tailored to your nonprofit. Getting it right is an ongoing process that should become a strategic part of your organization so that you can constantly improve.

Ultimately, measurement is all about accounting for other factors that might have influenced the outcome you’re evaluating, which is called attribution. This will ensure you can claim credit for your program’s positive change.


Reporting on your social impact is critical to ensuring that your nonprofit’s strategies and activities are effective and positively impact people, communities, and the environment. A well-crafted impact report can help your organization tell its story, secure funding, and make a case for change to your stakeholders.

Developing a framework is crucial to ensuring your social impact reporting is robust and relevant. A common approach uses a theory of change or logic model, which looks at how inputs, activities, and outputs lead to short-term and long-term outcomes.

Having a framework can also give you a sense of where your nonprofit stands and where it needs to improve. It can also help you determine the best reporting and data visualization tools for your organization so that it’s easy to understand and interpret the results.

Soban Saeed
Soban Saeed is a tech blogger who has been writing about technology for over 4 years. He has a wealth of experience in the tech industry and is always up-to-date with the latest happenings in the world of technology. If you're looking for tech news, Information and opinion, then Soban is your go-to guy.