Everyone's Story Counts: Measuring Social Impact in the Not-for Profit Sector - an Overview

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Journal Article
Cosmopolitan Civil Societies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, 2012, 4 (3), pp. 1 - 17
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As a lead-up to a symposium on measuring social impact in the not-for-profit sector, held in November 2011, the author conducted a small number of interviews (20) across the not for profit sector in Sydney, as to their views, concerns and issues regarding the measurement of social impact of their organisations' work within their communities. This paper provides a synthesis of these interviews, as well as situating social impact measurement within a broader economic and political frame. The paper draws the conclusion (confirmed by many at the above symposium) that the concept of collective impact where a large number of diverse organisations collaborate through, for example, agreed benchmarks of performance and shared measurements, in order to make a difference, and know that they have made a difference to the lives of specific populations in need.
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