How an impact culture will boost your impact measurement efforts

Our technology makes collecting, understanding and making the most of your impact data easy. But (as much as it pains us to say this), it’s only one step in your journey in measuring outcomes effectively.

One of the biggest hurdles organizations face on their journey is getting team alignment and buy-in. North Melbourne non-profit The Huddle faced a similar challenge.

The dream was to turn around a report in 24 hours, but now we can do this within 15 minutes.

Emily Buysen, Database Coordinator
The Huddle
Emily Buysen, Database Coordinator
15 mins
Huddle can now turn round a report within 15 mins, down from their goal of 24 hours.
The Huddle was established as the community arm of the Club in partnership with the Scanlon Foundation and the Australian Multicultural Foundation.

The need for alignment

The Huddle was born out of the role and value of sport and the influence the North Melbourne Football Club plays in connecting people across different ages, genders and cultures; The Huddle was established in 2010 as the community arm of the Club in partnership with the Scanlon Foundation and the Australian Multicultural Foundation.

It was established to engage, support and empower young people to build on their strengths, increase their ability to participate in society and contribute to more socially inclusive communities.

The Huddle works with some of the most iconic sporting clubs in the world to help young people learn, grow and belong.

Through the design of its innovative programs, The Huddle leverages the power of sport to strengthen social inclusion, education and careers for young people.

To improve how they collected data and help the operations team track attendance, it invested in Socialsuite’s technology platform. But without a cohesive impact measurement framework or buy-in from the team, the organization hit some solid hurdles.

With a challenging reporting schedule, complex operations in various locations, multiple stakeholders and a manual approach, they were not making the most of Socialsuite’s capabilities.

"It was quite messy and the surveys were all different depending on the funding and KPIs,” Emily Buysen, The Huddle's Data Coordinator explains.
“We needed to better strategically align the programs to a core set of outcomes. Consistency and efficiency were important in this process, which is why we reached out for some outside help to design an impact measurement framework to help.”

An external perspective

External impact consultants can work with you to develop robust frameworks that help align your teams and get everyone on board. Impact measurement frameworks also help:

  • Plan outcomes strategically, making sure they support your mission and vision
  • Design program logic that defines a series of questions
  • Plan realistic data collection processes
  • Help in data analysis and outcomes reporting

Consultants can also manage the process for you, if you don't have the internal resources.

The Huddle worked with one of our Partner Impact Consultants to build a strong foundation.

“Over a 6 week period, they analysed our operations and spoke to our staff, our advisory committee,” Emily says. “Once they had a good understanding of our operations and current processes, they showed us where there was room for improvements, and provided some measurements around our theory of change.”

We partner with a number of consultants who know our technology well and can show you how to make the most of impact measurement - and our platform. They also help your organization clarify the complexities of the process and address any gaps you might have.

The challenges of Impact buy-in

Many people have minimal or no experience with impact measurement, and it can be hard to get them excited about the significant benefits it can bring. Something The Huddle realized early in its journey.

It recognized that while there was an organizational mandate for collecting impact data, no one was emphasizing the benefits of measurement to everyone.

"We didn't have someone in the team that was responsible for [Socialsuite],” Emily recalls.

So The Huddle appointed her as an internal champion, to bring direct leadership around data collection and fully utilise Socialsuite features.

“Having someone who owns it and drives definitely helped move The Huddle to be where we need it to be," she says.

Accelerating reports, from weeks to minutes

With a new strategic alignment and organization-wide buy-in thanks to an internal champion, The Huddle is now making leaps and bounds in impact measurement.

Take its reporting process, for example. Like many organizations, The Huddle has a variety of reporting requirements for a number of stakeholders. Building reports that met these requirements used to take staff 2 to 3 weeks.

"We’re almost reporting once a month, so we needed a real-time approach,” Emily says. “With Socialsuite we don't do manual reporting anymore.
“The dream was to be able to turn around a report in 24 hours, but now I can safely say we can do this within 15 minutes."

The Huddle transformed their strategy and created alignment through a new cohesive framework - yielding dramatically faster reporting capabilities and a path to building an outcomes culture.

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