In the social-good sector, we are in the business of realizing long-term social change. Just like any for-profit business, success depends on understanding the needs of our buyers. In our case, the buyers are the individuals who consume our services and the funders and donors who give financial resources because they are passionate about our cause. The need for social-good organizations to focus on improving outcomes for individuals and ensuring the organization has sustainable revenue is frequently referred to as the double bottom line: the revenue bottom line vs. the social-impact bottom line. Social-good organizations must be financially healthy in order have the needed resources to fulfill your mission. At the same time, you must focus on accomplishing your mission above all else because that is your organization’s reason for existing.
The highest-performing social-good organizations focus equally on both the social-impact and revenue bottom line, and they implement the processes and technology that create a continuous loop where both bottom lines contribute to the success of the other. For example, the best way to improve your revenue bottom line is to start by improving your social-impact bottom line. Articulating your organization’s quantifiable social impact is a powerful way to engage stakeholders and funders. By demonstrating the degree to which you are changing the world, funders and other stakeholders will become more invested in your cause than ever before.
Technology for the Double Bottom Line
Because sustainable funding is a universal need for social-good organizations, it is natural that there has been a strong push to develop software solutions that help manage donor relationships, fundraising, marketing and engagement, and grant management. There are multiple technology solutions available to meet this need. However, let’s go back to the idea of a continuous loop where both bottom lines are inter-related. You likely have a software solution that helps you track supporters, but how are you supposed to create meaningful, long-term connections with them unless you can demonstrate the long-term impact of their investment? In order to support the social-impact bottom line, you need a data collection solution that empowers staff across your organization to track and measure how well you accomplished your mission and the long-term impact of your funders’ investments.
When your organization applies for funding and includes data to support both past performance and future projections of how that funder’s investment will yield the desired results, your application will receive the attention it deserves. Additionally, organizations that test new hypotheses and evaluate the results of those tests regularly are learning—and applying that learning to their existing programs. This continuous loop of innovation brings desirable attributes such as increased effectiveness, equity, and efficiencies that add even more value to a funder’s investments.
In order to achieve long-term sustainability, social-good organizations must focus on improving your revenue bottom line and social-impact bottom line. In order to do so, organizations need a software solution that was specifically designed to track and report your social-impact bottom line.
SureImpact connects the social-good ecosystem with a user-friendly case management platform that empowers organizations to manage, measure, and communicate your unique social-impact with funders and other stakeholders. SureImpact helps fuel your revenue bottom line by enabling you to focus on maximizing your social impact. In addition, SureImpact’s data model is specifically designed to provide the coordinated data collection infrastructure for social-good networks to evaluate and report the social impact and effectiveness of their collective impact initiatives as a whole. Contact us today to learn more.
Also, to learn more about measuring and communicating your social-impact bottom line, watch our on-demand webinar "Back to the Basics: Communicating Impact."