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Creating a roadmap for social impact measurement

Posted by SVP Vancouver

An update on the social impact shared service program

In August 2018 SVP Vancouver expanded its shared services offerings and hired Partner, Meagan Sutton, as Social Impact Coach with the purpose to provide social impact evaluation assistance and strategy development for our Investees and SVP.

We interviewed Meagan to get a glimpse into her work and learn what she visualizes for 2019.

What are the goals for the work you do?

“I have two main goals,” says Meagan. “The first is to help Investees build a culture of continuous improvement through evaluation. I strongly believe organizations should engage in evaluation not to simply meet accountability requirements for funders, but to create a cycle of feedback upon which they can take ownership of and action towards improving their ability to make an impact.”

She has been working with six current and Alumni Investees and has an additional five who are interested in starting this process in 2019.

  • Through this collaborative work, these organizations:
  • have a greater understanding of the basic process for evaluation,
  • are preparing evaluation strategic plans,
  • are revising their current evaluation tools to align with best practice, and
  • are streamlining and prioritizing what to measure to ensure they make the best use of their resources.

“The second goal is to support SVP Vancouver in evaluating our own social impact a step-by-step process to design effective evaluations rooted in best practice.” To this end, Meagan has reviewed SVP’s current evaluation processes, studied approaches used by similar organizations, and is determining clear evaluation objectives.

In November, Meagan facilitated two social impact evaluation sessions that were well-attended and highly rated. Twenty-three SVP Partners and staff met to learn about key elements of evaluation and how SVP can support Investees to develop their social impact evaluation systems.

What’s Next?

Meagan will continue her work with the six current and alumni Investees and begin working with five more. She will also continue to develop SVP’s impact evaluation framework.

Additional workshops and discussions are planned for 2019.

Potential topics for Investees include:

  • Evaluation 101: Introduction to the Evaluation Process + Best Practices
  • How Evaluation Can Contribute to Innovation
  • Best Practices for Collecting and Analyzing Data Accurately
  • How to Talk to a Funder about Evaluation

Potential topics for Partners include:

  • Social Impact Evaluation: What is our responsibility and role as a funder when it comes to evaluation?
  • How to right-size our evaluation expectations for organizations with limited resources
  • Case Study Review: How other funders evaluate the social impacts of their portfolio
  • Case Study Review: Understanding what good evaluation looks like within a non-profit

Exciting Development

Meagan will be on maternity leave from January to April 2019 and looks forward to putting plans in action upon her return in May.