We know you are busy. Nonprofit work can be as draining as it is rewarding. And you have SO MUCH to do – trying to connect clients to rental assistance, making name tags for an event, writing funder reports…the list goes on. So, when the outside world says, I’d love to see how all your work fits together, can I get a copy of your Impact Strategy? Do you want to scream?
It’s understandable. When are you supposed to find time to even think about an Impact Strategy? What is an Impact Strategy anyway? Definition time: An Impact Strategy is a visual representation of your work. It answers the questions: 1) who do you serve? 2) what outcomes will your target population achieve? 3) what services do you provide to achieve those outcomes?
Did you just get overwhelmed?
We get it. But what if we told you that a solid Impact Strategy can change the way you work? It can. Here’s how:
You stop providing mis-aligned, time-consuming services: This can be tough. It’s in our nature to want to be everything to everyone. But having a clear articulation of how your activities connect to outcomes (or don’t connect) will help you streamline your efforts. You can see which services obviously don’t contribute to your overall goals. This is so important when your staff is already strapped for time.
You are clear about which funding opportunities to go for AND which ones to pass on: We have all been there – you see the dollar signs on a grant opportunity and think, I could make this work. I could partner with that other nonprofit, and we could create this entirely NEW program to fit this grant. Here is where a solid Impact Strategy can guide you. If it doesn’t fit, it doesn’t fit. Your Impact Strategy is that filter to help catch you before you commit mission drift. But on the flip side, when you find the right grant opportunity, it couldn’t be clearer. BONUS: you can attach your Impact Strategy to grant applications to show funders exactly how well-aligned your work is to their opportunity.
Your staff members know how they fit in: It’s not enough to just tell staff that they are contributing to the overall mission of the organization. For a big portion of the population, they want to see how they fit in. Staff members want to know that they are valuable to the organization and that their work matters. A visual Impact Strategy can show how programs fit together to achieve the overall goals of the organization and demonstrate that critical piece that each staff member plays in the larger picture.
Bottom line: An Impact Strategy is strategic. There’s that word that everyone loves, strategy. It’s important. The outside world wants to know (just as you do) that your work is strategic, intentional, and goal-oriented.
Don’t know where to begin? Check out our website to read about our Design phase.