**What I am getting ready to tell you, does not apply to humanitarian aid.
In my line of work, one of my biggest perks is that I get to converse with all types of people each week that are in the midst of starting their own non-profit or social impact business. It’s like being at a buffet, and being able to choose from all sorts of international cuisine. I never have the same workload twice. It is awesome.
For those of you that don’t know. Social Impact and/or a Benefit Corporation is a relatively new(ish) idea catching on. There are a lot of names that these hybrids are being called right now. The businesses are basically conceived when a traditional corporate business model meets a nonprofit organization. They not only take profits into consideration, they take people and the planet into the same consideration.
I freaking love the concept and these companies fascinate me.
Yes, I am a nerd.
Anyway, back to talking to people…..
My company, Bare Philanthropy LLC, specializes in assisting new nonprofits as well as what is dubbed a “social impact business.” I help business owners with the “impact,” part.
For example: I help them figure out what to do with the percentage of proceeds earned that are earmarked for charity or how to change up a business model to include more sustainable measures. Believe it or not, depending on which way a business owner wants to go, different amounts of research and development will be involved. There is never a one size fits all model for every business or nonprofit for that matter.
Quite a few conversations stem from the owner having a great idea (and yes, it’s great) and wanting to spread the idea all around to improve another’s circumstances. However, when I inquire as to how they feel they will measure the impact of the said idea, I find not a lot have thought that far into it.
And that’s ok…..alot of us have so much on our plates these days, that small detail does in fact, get lost in translation. Which leads me to the topic of today’s article. Here is a great way to know if the impact of whatever you are doing is, in fact, working.
I have 3 words for you: Recipient Buy In.
I actually refer to recipient buy in as the holy grail of any program trying to promote positive change.
When I serve as a peer reviewer for grant proposals, that is actually something I look for the applying entity to already be experiencing. It means it has its mojo established within the community and is a sign of a living entity.
You can throw a billion dollars at a need. However if whatever is on the other end that is being affected is not jumping on board with you to solve the same problem, it’s not going to happen, and resources will be squandered. It will be a lost cause.
This theory can hold true in the nonprofit and business sector. Remember the old adage, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”
So, in the end, it’s not going to be enough to have a great idea of what kind of impact you want to see happen. You need to have a clear vision of how you will measure the success of the impact, and recipient buy in has to happen in order for you to be able to measure anything for that matter.
My suggestion is always to get feedback from the recipients before assuming what can assist and what cannot. Trust me when I say you will be surprised at what they tell you. Figure out what is needed before you go in guns a blazin, and decide on how the recipient can contribute as well in order to participate. The contribution can take the form of time or money. This way, the recipient has some sort of buy in into the program and will take it just as seriously as you do.
Until next time….
Bare Philanthropy LLC
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Disclaimer ****The material appearing in this publication is for informational purposes only, and is not certified professional advice. Please do not act on any information contained herein without seeking competent professional counsel.