The received wisdom about measuring impact (much simplified, of course) is that it serves two purposes: it enables non-profits to know how they’re doing in terms of achieving their goals and to adjust accordingly, and it enables donors to make rational decisions about which NGOs to support, thus channelling resources to the most effective organizations.
So do potential donors want to study in-depth reports to help them make decisions? And to receive such reports on an ongoing basis from organizations they’re supporting? Not necessarily, is the conclusion one would draw from an interesting panel discussion on ‘Demonstrating Impact’ at the European Association for Philanthropy and Giving’s annual conference in London on 24 November.
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