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What are our core beliefs?

As your partner in Social Impact Measurement, we want to share our core values and what makes us tick. Below you’ll find the principles of what we do and why we do it.


  1. We believe in counting what counts by focusing on outcomes not just outputs. 

    1. Why? We support nonprofits in generating simplified high-level reports that focus on the most salient aspects of their programs (mission, beneficiaries, outcomes, and measurement) rather than lengthy narrative descriptions of their work or a list of inputs and outputs. We strive to reduce the reporting burden on nonprofits so they can invest their time and energy in serving their communities. Our reporting focuses  on the interim and end outcomes (rather than process) to capture the most important data for proving and improving value for both nonprofits and funders alike.  
  2. We believe the ultimate measure of impact is in the ways in which individual lives are improved.

    1. Why? Focusing the data on how programs improve individual lives (rather than programmatic, community, or population-level improvements) allows for the broadest range of analytics for nonprofits and funders. Those analytics can shed light on how much value you’re generating in society, how efficient you are at creating that value, and how well-aligned that value is to your goals.
  3. We believe in a balanced approach between standardization and flexibility.

    1. Why? A balanced approach between standardization and flexibility gives nonprofits and funders confidence in impact reporting, the ability to analyze the data in aggregate, and room to capture the unique approach and success thresholds of each nonprofit program. We achieve this by providing a menu of validated outcome indicators to nonprofits and allowing them to define those indicators in their own programmatic terms. 
  4. We believe nonprofits are in the best position to articulate their program's full impact story.

    1. Why? Nonprofits are in the best position to communicate their program’s contributions to society and should share their whole impact story rather than bespoke reports for individual funders. This holistic approach to reporting still allows funders to identify which impacts align (or don’t) with their philanthropic goals. It also allows nonprofits to create a universal  impact story, shareable with a variety of audiences.
  5. We believe that nonprofits should set the time frame of their reports. 

    1. Why? Nonprofits receive funding at different times of the year. By focusing on the nonprofit’s program implementation period rather than an externally-determined period of time, the nonprofit can report out on a full program cycle ensuring more reliable data and more accurate reporting. This also ensures that nonprofits can focus their reporting on their overall program rather than bespoke reports for different funders. 
  6. We believe it is best to ask for projected impacts at the start of the program period and request final updates at the end. 

    1. Why? Clarity around a program’s goal at the outset of the program is beneficial for nonprofits and funders alike. It’s much easier to prepare for measurement before program implementation rather than to try to do so retroactively. Getting a head start on constructing your logic model and measurement plan will make for a less-burdensome final reporting process and illuminates where measurement systems can be strengthened throughout the year. Additionally, having access to both the final results and the variance between the projections and actuals presents a rich source of data for program managers and executive leadership alike.
  7. We believe that measurement should be accessible to all.

    1. Why? Social Impact measurement is often perceived as difficult and inaccessible which prevents many organizations from reporting out on their end outcomes. Using a best available data approach and guiding nonprofits in data-collection best practices, nonprofits can rely on the data they already collect plus evidence-based estimates to substantiate their impacts. This allows nonprofits to report on their ultimate impact and equip their funders with quality impact data without an unreasonable measurement effort.
  8. We believe that funders should be able to claim the impacts they fund or enable - no more, no less. 

    1. Why? Funders should receive credit for the accurate portion of impacts their philanthropy generated. We do this through a claim calculation. A claim calculation ensures funders can communicate confidently about the impact of their donations with confidence that they are not over- or under-claiming that impact.
  9. We believe True Impact is best positioned to conduct impact measurement and we leave process evaluation, grant management, and financial tracking to other experts. 

    1. Why? Impact measurement is a critical contribution to the philanthropic sector and asks the question “What difference does this program make in peoples’ lives?” While process evaluations, grant management, and financial tracking all serve important functions, impact measurement is a distinct endeavor that we specifically design for in our process and templates. Our approach is not optimized for other measurement needs. 
  10. We believe strong impact measurement strengthens nonprofits and funders alike.

    1. Why? Impact measurement equips nonprofits with the tools they need to communicate their powerful work and measure their contributions to society. It equips funders with the information they need to make informed decisions and to prove and improve the impact of their philanthropic giving. Guided by funder best practices such as early communication, funder review of reports, minimum donation sizes for report requests, and reasonable timelines, we strive to reduce the reporting burden on nonprofits so they can invest their time and energy in serving their communities.