More than a decade ago, B&W Managing Director David Williamson authored a piece for McKinsey & Company on measuring what matters in nonprofits. His co-author, the late John Sawhill, was then leading The Nature Conservancy (TNC) — arguably one of the most-respected nonprofits in the conservation field. Yet David and John wrote this article because TNC, like so many other nonprofits, had wrestled mightily with the challenge of effectively measuring progress and impact.
While much has changed in 10 years, it is still challenging for NGOs to identify and measure the right things — and in the current funding environment, even more important. Do you know what progress you’re making towards overall mission, or only whether you’re raising enough money to keep the doors open? Both are important.
We went back and looked at the McKinsey article to see if we’d change anything. We wouldn’t. The only thing we’d do is add more examples and emphasize that multi-level approach to measuring the organization and its impact. See what you think — read the article on McKinsey’s site, or download this PDF.