Does your non-profit agency have an “Impact Plan”?

This week I am at Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) Midwest Leadership Conference in Indianapolis working on a small conference planning contract. I just came from this morning’s general session and heard BGCA’s new CEO, Jim Clark, talk eloquently about how local affiliates should be focused on driving impact.

Of course “IMPACT” is the newest of non-profit buzzwords. Everywhere I go, all I see and hear are people talking about impact. I give the United Way lots of credit for providing lots of leadership around this very important subject.

During this morning’s general session, I found myself wondering:

I wonder how many organization are just talking-the-talk versus walking-the-walk when it comes to “IMPACT”?

As this question was settling on my brain, I saw this brochure on the table next to my coffee cup. The title of the document was “IMPACT PLAN”.

Inside this small, unassuming document was a ton of great stuff, including:

  • the organization’s impact vision
  • three key statistics focused on community need
  • a formula for impact
  • five impact related goals with measurable targets and strategies

I especially like the organization’s “formula for impact” because it really brings everything into focus much like a cookie recipe brings focus around what you need to do in the kitchen. Here is BGCA’s formula for impact:

The Impact Plan goals focus on implementation of the formula for impact, but a few of the goals focus on organization capacity building, too. After thinking about it for a moment, the reason for including capacity building goals in an impact plan is obvious. Your agency cannot create and drive community impact if it isn’t strong enough, positioned, and structured to do so.  Right?

I appreciate the specificity and ability to measure progress and success. Sure, these things need to be boiled down into anecdotal stories and made fun for donors, but there’s an understanding that board and staff need to have their arms around quantitative data rather than the qualitative stuff non-profit decision-makers have relied too much upon for years.

Does your non-profit organization have an “IMPACT PLAN”? Does it stem from your agency’s strategic plan? What does it look like? How did you put it together? Do you have a “Formula for Impact”? If so, what are its components? How did you develop it?

Please scroll down and use the comment box to weigh-in on any and all of these questions and issues. We can all learn from each other.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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