The Common BlogA collection of resources, information, and updates to help you grow your social impact practices.
The Common Approach is an impact measurement standard that is created for – and governed by – social purpose organizations
Research brief: Accountability for social impact: A bricolage perspective on impact measurement in social enterprises
A summary of the findings of the paper, “Accountability for social impact: A bricolage perspective on impact measurement in social enterprises” which explores how social enterprises make impact measurement work for them by using a patchwork approach.
Common Foundations and Sustainable Livelihoods
Common Approach is working towards more relevant impact measurement for social purpose organizations through developing flexible standards of impact measurement that are created for and governed by social purpose organizations. Common Approach is composed of four...
Common Approach receives a Tipping Point Fund grant
Common Approach is thrilled to be receiving a grant from The Tipping Point Fund on Impact Investing! This recognition of Common Approach’s role in improving data, metrics and measurement will support our continued work in developing and promoting impact measurement standards that support flexible, sharable data.
Common Approach has recently discovered the Metrics Café, a great resource for thinking about impact metrics. But what if the Common Approach standards were ingredients in the options offered by the Metrics Café?
Survey: The barriers to impact measurement
Social Value Canada needs input from social purpose organizations and those that support them about what they are finding confusing about impact measurement. You can help by responding to a quick survey!
Meet the first network participating in the Pathfinder Pilot!
We are excited to announce we have selected the first network of SPOs to participate in the Pathfinder Pilot! Co-convened by 10C Shared Space and Colleaga, the Network for Optimizing Food Impact is based in southwestern Ontario, Canada with nodes in Guelph-Wellington and Toronto.
Common Impact Data Standard public review
This month, we are kicking off the very first Common Approach public review process for the Common Impact Data Standard draft version 2.1! The review period will be open from October 19 to November 23, 2022. Here’s what you need to know to participate.
Research brief: Social impact standards in the public interest
A summary of the findings of “Social impact reporting in the public interest: the case of accounting standardisation”, which argues that standard-setters should consider a “common good” approach to social impact standard setting.
Case study summary: Using the Common Impact Data Standard and Common Framework
To illustrate how these two Standards work, we collaborated with Carleton University and Rally Assets on an example using an investment portfolio focused on affordable housing. This case study demonstrates how these Standards can be used to represent impact data, allowing for a nuanced analysis across a portfolio while reducing the burden of reporting.
The self-assessment: getting to 100%
The Common Foundations are a minimum standard—it’s not meant to be difficult or overly rigorous. We’re taking a closer look at the questions with the most “no” responses, to see if we can help more organizations get to 100%!
Meet the members of Common Approach’s first technical committee
Common Approach is pleased to announce we have convened our first technical committee for the Common Impact Data Standard! They will help develop the next version of Standard and support the creation of more user-friendly technical resources.
Take the Common Foundations self-assessment!
Help us improve our data by taking the Common Foundations self-assessment! We are eager to hear not only from social purpose organizations in the beginning stages of implementing impact measurement but also from those with an established practice.
Introducing our new board members
On April 21, Common Approach to Impact Measurement held its first Annual General Meeting, where we had the pleasure of introducing our newest board members! We are very excited to have these three new voices joining the Common Approach Board.
Common Impact Data Standard and Microsoft Nonprofit Accelerator Architecture
The Common Approach recently completed a crosswalk between its Common Impact Data Standard and the Common Data Model for Nonprofits, stewarded by Microsoft, to analyze compatibility between the two data models.
Common Foundations and Demonstrating Value
The Common Foundations reiterate the essential practices that are common to many different approaches and frameworks and are therefore compatible with many other standards. Let’s take a look at how Demonstrating Value’s framework and resources align with the Common Foundation’s minimum standards.
Furniture Bank and building for long-term sustainability
Impact measurement has the potential to serve as a lifeline for social purpose organizations. We look at how Furniture Bank is creating a more holistic and consistent measurement practice. The last in our three-part series.
Furniture Bank and measuring through exploration
We continue our look at Furniture Bank’s impact measurement practice, examining how the organization’s ongoing journey with impact measurement and willingness to embrace trial and error led to key learnings. The second in a three-part series.
Furniture Bank and the road to “good enough” impact measurement
Many social purpose organizations are wondering where to start on their social impact journey. To help with this question, we are taking a look at Furniture Bank’s journey to use impact measurement for an expanded purpose. The first in a three-part series.
Data Standards as a Means to Dismantle Digital Barriers in the Social Purpose Sector
There are many challenges faced by social purpose organizations in digitizing their services and showing up online for the communities they serve. More digital transformations are on the way, some more disruptive than others. How do we remove barriers to digitization?
Limits of Impact Measurement: Consequentialism
Impact measurement measures outcomes—specifically, changes in social or environmental outcomes as a result of an organization’s activities. Different theories of ethics play out in the different ways that people understand and define social enterprise and social economy enterprises.
National Day for Truth and Reconciliation: moving from truth-telling to action
Under the direction of Indigenous leaders and Elders, our work is to truly begin the hard work of reconciliation—to move from truth-telling to action, and from theory to practice.
Limits of Impact Measurement: Care
For social purpose organizations that don’t strive for change, impact measurement can require bizarre contortions that may not be worthwhile. Care can be at risk of being presented as worthwhile only insofar as other outcomes are produced—which entirely misses the point.
Meet the Common Approach team
Meet the Common Approach teamThe Common Approach is a community-driven initiative. Each part of our expanding network of partners and supporters, including the Champions group, a national social purpose organizations advisory committee, a social funders advisory...
Limits of Impact Measurement: Colonialism
We recognize the colonial histories present within impact measurement and many contemporary data practices and that they can promote universalist/colonialist worldviews and clientelism rather than self-determination.
Showcase your alignment
For the standard to grow, people and organizations need to be able to demonstrate that they are using the Common Approach. Social purpose organizations aligning with all five practices, trainers and consultants, developers can request use of the identifier.
Including the Common Approach in capacity-building work
Bryn Sadownik (Vancity) and Rachel Berdan (Pillar) are Common Approach Champions who are including the Common Approach in their capacity building work.
Four approaches to evaluation
Meet consultants Cathy Lang, Kerri Klein, Laurie Ringaert, and Garth Yule. They have incorporated Common Foundations into their work with social purpose organizations.
Why measurement must be flexible
Kate Ruff describes the indicator research done with social enterprises using sustainable food systems (SDG-2) and decent work (SDG-8) for the case study.
Organizational information and financial indicators
Kate Ruff and Elizabeth Searing describe the organizational information and financial indicators that are part of the Common Form.