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Through the Pathfinder Pilot, participants will measure impact using the Common Approach’s four standards.

We’re asking for a lot.

This project is ambitious, potentially complex and challenging, with many unknowns.

The anchor organizations will be responsible for implementing three Common Approach Standards throughout their network. This may involve providing or arranging for training for network members. It will include ensuring all members of the network are using impact management software, and providing or arranging for the resources to help network members migrate softwares. It involves ensuring that all network members understand what is involved, commit to, and follow the standard for the duration of the three-year pilot.

The tasks of each anchor organization are to:

  • Act as the liaison for a network, via a “point person”, for all the Social Purpose Organizations in their network throughout the piloting period, with support from the Common Approach team.
  • Lead the network through the adoption of the Common Approach standards. This leadership role includes project planning and risk assessment, implementation, and evaluation responsibilities. It may also include visible leadership of the project including co-hosting webinars with the Common Approach to introduce and deliver orientations, co-hosting events to collect user feedback, answering questions, and supporting learning as a community. The Common Approach team is available to advise, but the Anchor Organization is responsible for implementation.
  • Engage funders and impact measurement software providers that serve the network’s members, and invite them to align with the Common Impact Data Standard and Common Form. The Common Approach team will provide support.

The tasks of each network member are to:

  • Complete the Common Foundations self-assessment at the outset of the project, and take responsibility for planning and implementing whatever work is required to get to “yes” answers on the self-assessment within the three-year timeframe of the pilot.
  • Use software that is aligned with the Common Impact Data Standard in their impact measurement work. If they’re already using software, Common Approach will endeavour to get that software vendor aligned with the Data Standard, so it can be used for the pilot. If they aren’t using software or if we can’t bring their software vendor on board, we will facilitate access to new software and training.
  • Participate in orientation, planning, coordination, evaluation and/or learning sessions.

We’re offering a lot!

We are passionate about this project and the potential it holds to transform the practice of impact measurement on a global scale. You’ll get the full benefit of our shared enthusiasm and excitement for the work, and our three staff members will be fully committed to supporting the pilot groups on their way to a successful implementation.

Anchor Organizations will receive:

  • Reimbursement of 40% of the annual salary of a network coordinator who can dedicate 50% of their time to this project, to a maximum of $36,000 per year, for the duration of the pilot (up to 3 years).
  • a subsidy of up to $25,000 for software license costs and up to $60,000 for training, per network
  • Access to a skilled and growing network of practitioners, researchers, funders, and software developers that are keen to innovate in the impact measurement space.

The Social Purpose Organizations that are part of your network and that commit to piloting with us will each receive: 

  • A stipend of up to $3,400 for 12 days of work per year.
  • Subsidized access to impact measurement software
  • Expert training in impact measurement and guidance to build their capacity to use impact software tools facilitated by the anchor organization (see above)
While the Common Approach is contributing some funds, we are not covering all costs. It is expected that all organizations will commit the time and resources needed to see the project to successful completion.

What does success look like?

By the mid-point of the Pathfinder Pilot, success will look like:
  • All network members meet a minimum standard for impact measurement practice, demonstrated by answering “yes” to every question on the Common Foundations self-assessment
  • All network members are using software that is aligned with the Common Impact Data Standard and capturing all data points relevant to the highest tier of alignment for that software.
  • All network members will have completed a Common Form and can export/share it.
  • Network members have pooled their impact data for analysis, specifics to be determined case-by-case.
  • At least two, and preferably all, funders to the network have also aligned with the Common Impact Data Standard and Common Form
By the end of the Pilot, successful outcomes may include:
  • Organizations collect more useful and relevant impact data that meet their needs, including making program improvements and demonstrating value.
  • The process of collecting, analyzing, using and sharing data is more efficient.
  • Valuable insights emerge from new analyses of pooled data.
  • Funders can be more flexible on reporting requirements without diminishing their ability to aggregate data across a portfolio.

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