The Common Blog

A 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

Ventures at the Helm

Ventures at the Helm

What we love about Ventures at the Helm, the free guide containing learnings, tools, and worksheets on SPO-centred impact measurement and management (IMM) for ventures and investors.

read more
Meet the Technical Committee

Meet the Technical Committee

The Technical Committee works to ensure that the Common Impact Data Standard and Common Form are driven by community and meet the needs of social purpose organizations, social financial institutions, and software organizations.

read more
Meet the Social Purpose Organization Council

Meet the Social Purpose Organization Council

Common Approach is pleased to introduce the Social Purpose Organization Council! Council members will ensure that the needs of operating charities, nonprofits and social-purpose businesses and those they serve are centered in the ongoing development of Common Approach’s impact measurement standards.

read more
Choosing the right measurement software

Choosing the right measurement software

We came into the Pathfinder Pilot understanding that social purpose organizations frequently face challenges with the software they use for impact measurement and reporting. We would like to share what we are learning about how SPOs wish to use software to support their impact measurement practices and the attributes that make software most useful to them.

read more
Common Foundations: Good enough for what?

Common Foundations: Good enough for what?

Learnings from the Pathfinder Pilot: The Common Foundations articulate a minimum standard of impact measurement for social purpose organizations. It is about being good enough rather than great. The question is: good enough for what?

read more
Meet the Pathfinder Pilot network: Newfoundland & Labrador Coalition

Meet the Pathfinder Pilot network: Newfoundland & Labrador Coalition

The third network participating in the Pathfinder Pilot is the Newfoundland and Labrador Social Enterprise and Innovation Coalition, convened by the Centre for Social Enterprise (Memorial University). The Coalition was formed to promote the development of a well-articulated and robust social finance ecosystem in Newfoundland and Labrador.

read more
SI Canada Investment Readiness Webinar Case Study: Purppl

SI Canada Investment Readiness Webinar Case Study: Purppl

SI Canada hosted an informative webinar exploring how Purppl secured investment to accelerate the impact of social entrepreneurs and their journey to becoming the co-owners of Thrive Impact Fund. Both organizations use Common Approach’s Common Foundations to “do better impact measurement.”

read more
Meet Common Approach’s Board of Directors

Meet Common Approach’s Board of Directors

The Common Approach Board of Directors is the primary governing body of the nonprofit organization. Recruited from the social purpose and impact measurement communities, the Board aims to be representative of those communities. Learn more about them!

read more
Research brief: Accountability for social impact

Research brief: Accountability for social impact

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.

read more
Common Foundations and Sustainable Livelihoods

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...

read more
Common Approach receives a Tipping Point Fund grant

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.

read more
Metrics Cafe

Metrics Cafe

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?

read more
Common Impact Data Standard public review

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.

read more
Case study summary: Impact Evaluation of a Portfolio of Private Investments

Case study summary: Impact Evaluation of a Portfolio of Private Investments

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.

read more
The self-assessment: getting to 100%

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%!

read more
Take the Common Foundations self-assessment!

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.

read more
Introducing our new board members

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.

read more
Common Foundations and Demonstrating Value

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.

read more
Furniture Bank and measuring through exploration

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.

read more
Limits of Impact Measurement: Consequentialism

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.

read more
Limits of Impact Measurement: Care

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.

read more
Meet the Common Approach team

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...

read more
Limits of Impact Measurement: Colonialism

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.

read more
Showcase your alignment

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.

read more
Four approaches to evaluation

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.

read more

Get email updates.

The Common Approach is community-driven! Get updates on standards and see upcoming events and webinars. 

Merci!

Inscrivez-vous à notre infolettre

L'Approche commune est propulsée par la communauté! Recevez des mises à jour et des invitations aux webinaires. 

Merci!