We often see that limited capacity, a lack of guidance, and lack of data expertise lead to neglecting impact measurement and impact data. And we get it. Social enterprises have a lot of priorities to juggle at once, and impact measurement and management is probably not at the top of the list. 

Impact measurement is a rapidly growing field of interest, for both social enterprises and social impact investors. In the past, there had been only a few players in the impact investing space. Today, due to the amplification of ESG investing and Venture Philanthropy, impact measurement approaches are coming from every direction. Since no universal framework to measure impact exists, determining the proper approach can be overwhelming. In turn, improper measurement approaches and inaccurate interpretations of outcome data are prevalent. 

The general mission for us at Basil Data is to increase better impact measurement practice for social entrepreneurs and small nonprofits. By working with these early stage organizations, we can help implement necessary impact measurement systems that evolve with the organizations as they grow. Long term, we hope this approach increases funding to those that understand and communicate their social and environmental impact at a deeper level. 

Our Discovery Research Process is the first phase of this mission. It provides social enterprises an in-depth analysis of the current state of the problem. We create the first draft of their custom impact measurement strategy that includes metrics and indicators that align with their impact objectives. The goal is that this information will provide your organization with a solid impact measurement foundation to follow and develop as you continue to grow.

As more investors are interested in making impact-driven investments, they require transparent and accurate data in addition to clear impact objectives. Alongside financial reporting, proper impact reporting can prove to be beneficial. According to a McKinsey meta analysis of over 2000 studies, 63% found a link between ESG and positive financial performance, whereas only 8% found a link between ESG and negative financial performance. Additionally, 69% of ESG investors thought their ESG investments helped them manage downside risk.

By gaining a better understanding of the problem and creating the most appropriate strategy early, social enterprises can more effectively and efficiently measure once resources are available. Our discovery research process provides an easy to understand approach to creating a cohesive and unique strategy for your organization to satisfy this increasing request for impact data. 

It’s also personalized. Every social enterprise is different, so why would our approach be one size fits all? Each social enterprise that completes the discovery research process receives a custom report tailored to your specific mission, audience, and targeted impact goals. 

As mentioned, our process is strategic. It is structured to create a strong foundation for ongoing impact measurement and gain invaluable insight from the data you are collecting along the way. 

We aim to provide an accessible and intuitive approach for all social enterprises to get started with impact data, measurement and communication.

The market is growing. Set yourself apart from other social enterprises. The lack of impact measurement strategy is unfortunately prevalent among small organizations. By providing a clear strategy and understanding of your outcomes you align with investor interest while showing increased proficiency in your mission.  Whether working with traditional investors or strictly impact investors, this approach will enhance the transparency between you and funders. 

There’s a need for simplified systems. Impact measurement is complex and sometimes feels overwhelming. Our process makes it easy to approach with limited resources, and eventually, the strategy makes it easy to translate intention into impact results.

Finally, there’s a need for adaptability. Outcomes are often nuanced, but data around these outcomes can provide us the information we need to identify best practices. Our research framework is simple enough to get started quickly, yet complex enough to meet the contextualized approaches of each social enterprise we work with. We bring our past experience and humility to all projects in order to maximize best practices for your organization. 

We aim to help any small, resource-confined social impact organizations that are hoping to answer questions like, What should I be measuring? Am I being effective? Am I achieving the impact goals and targets I put out for my programs? Am I effectively communicating our short and long term outcomes? 

Investors and other funders are a secondary audience for us. We understand the difficulty in getting accurate data from early-stage organizations. The reports we generate for social enterprises at the end of the Discovery Research process contain relevant information and goals that appeal to potential funders, prior to the normal due diligence process. 

To summarize:

  1. Lack of capacity, expertise and guidance must be addressed in order to maximize impact. 
  2. The request for impact data from investors and funders will only increase going forward.
  3. Our Discovery research framework provides better understanding of the current state of the problem and a strategy for small and early stage organizations to get started
    1. Our framework is intuitive yet, detailed enough to align with your specific mission
    2. We prioritize data – current statistics, key metrics, and a data collection strategy specific to your impact objectives
  4. Our summary report provides you with a tool to clearly communicate your impact strategy to funders