Demonstrating Social Impact Outside of a Facebook Album
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social impact, demonstrating impact

NGOs and non-profit organizations face difficult issues in attempting to effectively communicate the work they perform – to both potential volunteers, and donors. In practice, relationships with wealthy donors may be more personal than a ‘donate now’ button. Demonstrating social impact through an interactive catalogue of ongoing and completed projects can serve to assist the organizations themselves, volunteers, and donors as well.

Ways NGOs and Non-profits can visually demonstrate positive impact:

  1. Utilize a non-conventional, interactive blog theme, allowing users to jump between many projects quickly while still learning about each
  2. Embed an interactive map on a website or Facebook-app, detailing each project with images and volunteer counts
  3. Obtain a detailed Impact Evaluation from organizations like 3ieimpact.org, create infographics from the findings

We here at TrackImpact research and follow how organizations show their impact to visitors of their websites, prospective volunteers, and potential donors. Rigorous impact evaluation services exist, however, there are some risks associated with an often costly, thorough evaluation of an NGOs practices. This rings true, especially if an organization is relatively small and with limited monetary and human resources. Organizations such as the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation offer a wide range of impact evaluation tools and services, but they focus on utilizing the collected data to inform strategic decisions and government policies. 

One thing we’ve found very few examples of are ways for organizations to quickly demonstrate to the public, the wide range of projects and activities they’re involved in on a day to day basis. (example below via interaction.org)

image

After volunteering recently with Habitat for Humanity and analyzing their reporting procedures for our project, we noticed that merely uploading an album to the Facebook page didn’t allow us to learn much about the projects in progress.

We understand that many NGOs connect with their volunteers and volunteer base via popular social media outlets like Facebook and Twitter, but these channels lack the interactivity and organization of data for those interested to learn more. By providing NGOs a tool to collect data about their individual projects in the field, with multimedia capabilities on smart-devices, opportunities arise for organizations to display their community involvement, and impact in new, engaging ways. Harnessing this data in real-time and overlaying it on a map or other interactive visualization allows NGOs to show website visitors and social media fans the positive effects they are having within their respective communities.

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Related Posts
Tracking Social Impact: Revisit Your Mission Statement ( 22 May,2013 )
Storytelling for Nonprofits: Data Writes a Story ( 13 May,2013 )
Infographic: Why Visual Storytelling Rules (for Nonprofits) ( 5 Aug,2013 )

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