Mission: Better data, greater impact
Nonprofits do a lot of good work, and they can also spend a lot of time reporting that work to the parties from which they seek funding. On average, each report takes 20–30 hours, and most nonprofits create a custom version for each potential funder, so the time can really add up. If all this time could be reduced to one hour, nonprofits could focus more of their time and energy on creating greater social impact, instead of reporting on it.
That is why Moody’s partnered with Mission Measurement, a leader in social sector data and insights. Mission Measurement has developed a unique tool designed to make systems of social change more efficient by reducing reporting time and increasing data consistency. The organization’s Impact Genome Project® simplifies the reporting process with its standardized Impact Genome Project scorecard.
Analyzing data is what we believe Moody’s does best, and we know the difference that strategic data can make in outcomes. Each year,America invests $6.3 trillion in programs for social change; improving data and outcome alignment can help that money do more.
The current landscape of philanthropic data — And the way forward
How do you quantify hope? Most nonprofits, foundations and government programs have a wide range of reporting styles and inconsistent data sets. Funders often find it challenging to compare and evaluate nonprofits. The Impact Genome Scorecards are single-page reports that include program overviews, performance summaries and benchmarks.
The number and diverse nature of nonprofits could pose a challenge to a single standardized reporting system. But Mission Measurement approaches this issue through strategic categorization. Impact Genome Project divides groups into four main taxonomies: social outcomes, intervention activities, beneficiary traits and environmental context. The tool uses more than 650,000 data points in all, customized by policy area. With this standardization, groups should not have to repeat their reporting work until the next year.
Impact Genome Project offers far-reaching benefits, giving programs a clearer overview of goals and achievements to more accurately assess social impact, identify areas for improvement and advance their strategic planning.
Setting new standards
We are invested in supporting the Impact Genome Project for the wider nonprofit world, and it is already helping Moody’s better understand the impact of our own CSR initiatives.
In 2018, the partners for Moody’s signature CSR initiative, Reshape Tomorrow™, along with all members of the Moody’s grant portfolio, adopted the Impact Genome Project scorecard. These Reshape Tomorrow partners are focused on accelerating the growth of small businesses, which triggers a ripple effect.
Impact Genome Project is designed to present data with greater depth. Partners will select a primary outcome, either Grow Small Business or Stimulate Entrepreneurship, and measure their progress using several associated success indicators. Criteria for the Grow Small Business outcome include financial growth, product or service sales and return on investment.Stimulate Entrepreneurship outcome criteria include expansion into new markets, hiring new employees or attaining access to new capital and credit.
Mission Measurement took a leap forward in promoting the Impact Genome Project. It formed new partnerships with leaders in the assessment of charitable program analysis, including GuideStar, which merged with Foundation Center in 2019 to create Candid. Their adoption of the framework gives the new tool added credibility and traction in the industry. The effectiveness of the tool increases as more companies, programs and organizations adopt it. Better data means companies can compare and contrast philanthropic partners to make more informed choices, an area of growing interest as more businesses develop purposes beyond profit.
“It’s helping these nonprofits to better market themselves and find better opportunities to collaborate with one another,” says Jennifer Stula Rivera, CSR regional head of the Americas at Moody’s Corporation. “It’s not just about measurement and evaluation of how far our dollars are going. It’s actually about the difference systemic change could make in the industry.”
“It’s helping these nonprofits to better market themselves and find better opportunities to collaborate with one another.”
JENNIFER STULA RIVERA
CSR REGIONAL HEAD OF THE AMERICAS, MOODY’S CORPORATION
Number of programs to which Mission Measurement’s Impact Genome Project has been applied
Data points Impact Genome Project uses to help create the new reporting methodology
Length of time it now takes to create reports that once took 20–30 hours per funder