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Are you not measuring your impact? Don’t bother doing the project

Are you looking to make a change in society? Real impact means influencing many people over a long time. You should not just think about it but measure it. This truly matters, and it is as important as the idea of the project itself because it will help you:

It is clear: measuring impact matters. So, how can you measure it? Firstly you will need to create a good theory of change. You can only start with it once you frame a problem properly. Then think about the actual long-term change you wish to create for many people, and start thinking about the middle- and short-term effects you need to make to reach the long-term change. Lastly, you have to define your activities, ignite ideas and prototype them.

Start thinking about metrics only when all this is done. They could be related to your activities, like how many teaching hours you have, short-term effects, like quantifying the learning right after the course, or middle-term ones, like whether the learning outcomes were used in the students’ jobs. They could also be objective, like a number, subjective, like perception or even secondary, meaning how someone else perceives the impact. We suggest combining these metric strategies. Most importantly, though, is that, unless they are purposedly qualitatively, they are always SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely. You must consider the model you will use to measure these impact metrics and impact risks. Finally, never forget to analyze, report and act on the impact lessons to keep improving your project!

Measuring impact can be tricky. We will not lie to you. If you feel you do not know where to start, don’t be discouraged! Shaping horizons can help you do it. For example, we used 11 metrics to measure learning and societal outcomes in over 300 social entrepreneurs. We help them start and transform their projects into an impact venture. Let’s make yours the next one. Join our digital campus and learn entrepreneurial and soft skills. You can start for free either with a team or individually. What are you waiting for?

Belén Casalá has a master degree in the development of childhood and adolescence. She is a researcher and volunteer at Shaping Horizons.

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