Charities and NFPs to benefit from free impact-measurement tool

By Melissa Coade

March 16, 2022

The Amplify Social Impact Online initiative should save the NFP sector $300 million per year. (Jacob Lund/Adobe)

Reporting projects will become easier and cheaper thanks to the new Amplify Social Impact Online initiative, which is expected to save the charity and NFP sector a conservative estimate of $300 million per year.

The first part of the Amplify online platform is an indicator engine that includes a fully serviced online repository to manage the creation and distribution of evidence-based surveys. The tool can be used by NFPs to measure a range of social outcomes – such as financial stress, standard of living, mental health, or disaster preparedness – among their clients, staff or broader stakeholders.

It is also hoped that efficiency benefits of the tool will give more time back to organisations to focus their resources on service delivery.

The free online impact tool was launched by the Centre for Social Impact (CSI) on Wednesday. 

“Following extensive collaboration with government and Australian charities of all sizes and purposes, CSI was equipped to take on the ‘holy grail’ of the social economy – identifying more than 500 relevant outcome indicators and building a reporting framework that will free up the limited resources of our nation’s for-purpose organisations,” CSI director Graham Brown said. 

Brown, who is also an associate professor at UNSW, said the world-first solution was a reliable and scalable way for organisations in the sector to measure social impact within the community. The new tool was finally a verified way of identifying impact – at low or no cost, he added.

A team of researchers spent three years collaborating with government and stakeholders to develop the tool, which is expected to save charities and not-for-profit (NFP) organisations up to $90,000 per reporting project. 

Project manager Rose Ahearn said the platform was specially designed to improve program evaluation capabilities for smaller organisations. 

“Often organisations making a real impact miss out on opportunities simply because they don’t have the resources or capacity to measure their influence, and this platform aims to change that,” Ahearn said.

“Amplify levels the playing field so smaller organisations can keep up as impact reporting requirements continue to grow for certain grants, partnerships and funding.”

According to HOPE Housing CEO Tim Buskens, the new tool would serve as the core impact measurement program for his organisation.

“Amplify Online gives us valuable insight on how we can improve our offering for the benefit of the communities we serve – which for us is all about housing our essential frontline workers,” Buskens said.

Construction has started on the next stage of the Amplify Social Impact platform – a tool called ‘Yardstick’ – which will offer automated statistical analysis of collected data.


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