Spring clean your approach to social impact

Back to Insights
Spring clean your approach to social impact

Written by Alischa Ross | 3rd October 2023

With spring in the air, now is a great time to pause, reflect and see what opportunities exist to spring clean your approach to social impact!

Below we showcase the four key areas we use in our work with clients to support and enable them to manage for better impact – design, measure, communicate and improve. These areas work together in a continuous cycle and help you get clear on the processes and systems, resources and culture you have or need to manage for better impact.

Reinvigorate and renew

Reflecting on your approach can help you to reinvigorate your impact and have a renewed focus to:

  • get clearer on your purpose
  • make smarter decisions to invest in what works
  • transform how you design and deliver for lasting impact
  • clearly tell the unique story of the change you create
  • plan to attract support to sustain and expand your work
  • take a deeper dive to understand the ripple effect you create.

We understand that different organisations are at different stages of managing their social impact, and have different priorities, capabilities and resources. But by regularly considering and reviewing your approach you can keep building and improving on them to manage for better impact.

Assess your social impact management

The examples provided below can help give you a benchmark to appraise your current approach to designing for, measuring, communicating and improving impact. While not exhaustive, they showcase examples of activities that demonstrate beginning to take action, those who are strengthening their activities, and those at an advanced level.

As you go through the examples, reflect on where your organisation is at in terms of managing for better impact, and note any ideas and insights you gather about where actions could be enhanced.


Build the foundations that define your intended impact.

Best practice

Your theory of change is harmonised with the vision, purpose and strengths of the organisation and everyone understands it and is able to use it as a valuable communication tool.

Have developed a robust strategy guided by your theory of change that sets out the pathways to achieving your intended impact.


Developing clarity on what changes are material to your work.

Have a current theory of change you are starting to socialise to ensure there is a clear and shared understanding of your intended impact.


Recognise that organisational decisions have social and environmental implications.

Planning to develop a theory of change or review an existing one to develop a clear story of your intended change.


Collect data and stories to evidence and value your impact.

Best practice

Processes and systems are in place to support regular and consistent cycles of data collection and analysis.

There is a culture that highly values the importance of collecting outcomes data.


There is an outcomes framework in place that links to your theory of change and provides a clear structure to measure the changes that are important for you to know and ways of knowing when these changes occur.

You are using data collection tools and approaches that support you to collect data and stories.


You have processes in place to collect the data required by your funders and/or you are collecting satisfaction and general feedback data.

You record the number of people who engage with your work and understand their general level of satisfaction but do not collect data to measure what changes (outcomes data).


Share the evidence and value of your impact.

Best practice

You consistently and transparently communicate the evidence of your impact to internal and external stakeholders and disclose the actions you’re taking to enhance future outcomes through an annual sustainability, ESG or impact report.

You use the evidence you collect to challenge the status quo and influence others to improve how they contribute to systems change.


You are committed to and engage in some level of internal and external communication of the outcomes data and stories you are collecting annually or at a few key touchpoints throughout the year.

You use a mix of qualitative and quantitative data to communicate the impact you are creating. One example is bringing together outcomes data alongside case studies that document people’s lived experience.


You produce reports for your funders that include data that satisfies their reporting needs.

Your reporting mainly focuses on output data about the volume of activities you provide and/or levels of engagement and general satisfaction rather than what changes as a result of your work (outcomes data).


Reflect, learn and develop capability to enhance your impact.

Best practice

You have a strong impact focused culture that ensures robust processes and systems enable periodic reviews of your impact data and you use this to make responsive decisions to continuously improve.

Your cycles for reflecting on your impact data align with your business strategy and budget planning cycles so you efficiently coordinate priorities and the allocation of resources.

You use the learnings from your impact data to provide tailored capability building for those involved in the delivery of your activities.


You have processes in place to ensure some key people are reviewing your impact data and there are discussions on how this can be used to keep improving what you do.

From time to time you engage external support to help you consider how you can strengthen your overall approach to managing for better impact.

You engage your people in opportunities to improve their understanding of social impact and the value of this to their work.


You reflect on feedback from funders around the impact you are achieving.

You focus on improving output data (i.e. volume of activities you provide and/or levels of engagement) as the primary diver for improvement rather than what changes as a result of your work (outcomes data).

Strengthening your approach to social impact

After reflecting on the above examples we hope you have a better understanding of how you are tracking in terms of managing for better impact and where you might recognise some opportunities and be inspired to strengthen your approach.

It doesn’t matter if you are big or small, a for-purpose organisation, a corporate business or government department, our team are experienced in creating tailored solutions that support you to take real and manageable steps towards improving how you manage for better impact.

If you would like to have a chat with one of our team, please get in touch with us via We look forward to setting up a time to meet, and if you’re based in Melbourne, maybe even over a cuppa.