Impact Measurement: Finding Your Way Through The Maze

Social entrepreneurs who are serious about having impact or about attracting capital from sophisticated impact investors face an intimidating array of measurement tools, standards and abbreviations. Today, Forbes contributor, Devin Thorpe releases the second installment in his series examining impact measurement. Offering a top-down view of the fragmented “maze”, Thorpe interviews numerous practitioners and experts on their preferred metric-frameworks.

A common recommendation, he found, is to seek B Corp certification.

Matthew Weatherley-White, a recognized expert on impact measurement and co-founder and managing director for Caprock, which manages money for impact investors, agrees. He encourages social entrepreneurs not only to measure their impact with B Lab standards but also to become a certified B Corp (or Benefit Corporation), for three reasons:

  • as a statement of commitment
  • as a stamp of transparency and credibility
  • as a way of supporting the emerging community of social enterprises

“They should then establish a tight group of IRIS-compliant metrics that are quantifiable and material, that will be gathered during the day-to-day operations of the business, and that will provide evidence around the mission of the enterprise,” he continues. He also encourages entrepreneurs to report using the taxonomy provided by his firm’s “iPAR” system.

This article was written by Devin Thorpe for Forbes.