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

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.

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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?

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Survey: The barriers to impact measurement

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!

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Meet the first network participating in the Pathfinder Pilot!

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.

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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.

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Case study summary: Using the Common Impact Data Standard and Common Framework

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.

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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%!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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...

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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.

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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.

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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.

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