How can I generate social impact for my business and tell the world about it?
Social impact investing, the rise of social enterprise and a general sense that good business is good for everyone is shining a laser beam on the social impact of organisations. Although there is no consensus on the definition of social impact, let alone the many ways to create and evaluate it, the following resources give you a good head start to think how to approach it in your organisation.
Key: paid for service registration required official
Logic models and evaluation
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Make links between your inputs, activities, and impact using the logic model development guide from W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
WHEN: You want to structure your business around social impact and create a logical story on why what you do matters.
WHY: If you do not have story or hypothesis guiding your social intervention, your opportunity for learning, improvement and delivering impact is low.
WHAT: This is a comprehensive guide that explains logic models – what they are and why to use them – with exercises to build one for your social enterprise or programme.
WHEN: You want to evaluate the impact of your programme.
WHY: Sometimes our best intentions do more harm than good. Other times there might be more effective ways to deliver the desired impact. It all hangs on knowing what works.
WHAT: An evaluation guide and links to further resources.
Ethical business certification
WHEN: You have had an established business for at least one year.
WHY: Consumers are increasingly impact conscious. Being a certified “B Corporation” business signals your commitment to ethical and conscientious practice.
WHAT: An analysis via an online questionnaire, legal document review and interview to achieve certified B Corporation status. Certified B Corporations are a new kind of enterprise that balance purpose and profit. They are legally required to consider the impact of their decisions on their workers, customers, suppliers, community, and the environment.
WHEN: You are thinking about organic certification for your business.
WHY: If you want your farm, or the products you make, store or sell, to be labelled organic you must hold a legal certificate of registration for that product from an organic certifier. Any product sold as “organic” in the EU has to comply with a set of standards.
WHAT: Information on how to apply for certification. The Soil Association have over 70 years of experience in organic farming, and offer a comprehensive package of expert support for your business.
Impact data tracking
WHEN: You have a fast-moving social enterprise in developing countries and want live customer insights.
WHY: These guys have blended business metrics with social impact tracking for more impactful businesses.
WHAT: An analysis which will provide data on social performance, customer feedback and behaviour.