Impact Measurement OVerview
A short history.
Impact measurement evolved from the idea that one could measure the social return of an investment much like one could measure a financial return.
Early impact assessment tools originated with the environmental field in the late 1960s. By the 1990s, the idea of social impact measurement had spread to philanthropies trying to assess how their investments in communities made a difference. With the data they tracked, impact measurement pioneers would attempt to calibrate their programs and investments in order to be most effective with their investment dollars.
Still, hard and fast standard approaches to assessing the social impact of one's investments remain difficult to formalize, as standard approaches may oversimplify the complicated and ever-changing social environment of humanitarian issues.
Though standardized approaches are critical to comparing investments, mission-driven portfolios require a thoughtful part-tailored, part-standardized approach to impact measurement. Learn more about the Sorenson Impact approach to impact measurement.