Definition Of Social Impact
Social impact refers to the way an organization benefits the community with responsible and sustainable business policy. Normally, it relates to a company’s CSR ecosystem. Also, the impact that these activities deliver can be measurable. The indicators management rely on to assess the outcome of a project largely depend on the objectives of the campaign and other circumstantial factors.
Breaking Down Social Impact
A simple and classic example comes from a company’s most traditional social activity: donations. Let’s assume for one moment that you are the grant manager at a big company such as Coca-Cola. You daily receive many requests from nonprofits and charities asking for funds. How do you choose the best project? You have to follow some steps and guidelines (you can click here for a closer look at the topic) with the final driver of your choice being the impact the same project is going to make. That is, how many people will benefit from it? What are the ways a community is going to grow due to this social initiative? In short, the way a company establishes its criteria and target are arbitrary but they mostly focus on these points.
Best Practices To Make A Real Impact
Let’s recap: you are the grant manager of a big corporation in charge of awarding funds. Therefore, your focus must always be on the effects the selected project will have on the final recipients. Moreover, it’s essential to see if the same outcome can be fulfilled by another project that requires a lower investment.
As you can notice, a grant manager needs to balance different elements in order to make the right choice. An error of judgment can impair the company’s reputation and image. As a matter of fact, grants and donations are the expressions of your organization’s mission statement (especially for your foundation). Investing in the wrong project can backfire at your in many ways.
That’s why you have to follow this step-by-step process that will help you manage your grants as efficiently as possible.
- Criteria definition: clearly state your mission and objectives. Afterwards, choose the right criteria that will help you choose the projects best suited to your culture.
- Request management: make sure anyone knows that you accept grant requests. Use a software that can automatically process applications.
- Analysis: analyze all the project in-depth, consult experts, trust your instincts etc.
- Assessment and ranking: once the analysis is over, it’s time to draft a rank of the projects, with a score that depends on their criteria satisfaction.
- Selection: select the project(s) that scored higher.
- Communication: let the grant receiver(s) know that they have been granted the financing. After that, you have to set up some guideline regarding subjects such as collaboration, communication and so on.
- Monitoring and project management: ask your grant receiver to update you with constant report and, depending on the single case, collaborate actively on the project
- Return Measurement: define clear and measurable KPIs that will help you assess the success of your investment