Impact Audit (noun). A rating tool that helps nonprofits improve and guides donors toward what matters most: impact.
Benefits of Impact Auditing
The Impact Audit
Providing donors the analysis needed to make smart, informed funding decisions.
Clear, concise statement that articulates the nonprofit's intended change in the targeted community.
Description of the sources of the problem that justify a coordinated program over a direct transfer.
Description of the nonprofit's core intervention.
Metric used to track successful delivery of the program.
Metric the nonprofit is seeking to change.
List of countries and regions where the organization works.
Description of the nonprofit's program stage.
Statistic on the scale of the program and the age of its current model.
Quality of Impact Evidence:
Cost of Impact
Best estimate of the impact of the program per beneficiary.
Total cost to deliver the intervention per beneficiary.
Total impact per dollar spent on the intervention.
Explanation of the major calculations and assumptions for the impact and cost figures.
Quality of Monitoring Systems:
Explanation of the quality of the systems the nonprofit has to monitor successful delivery of the program.
Learning and Iteration:
Explanation of how the nonprofit uses data to systematically and periodically learn and improve its programs.
Our Four-Part Standard for Impact
Our impact audit standard answers the key questions a smart philanthropic investor asks before supporting a nonprofit.
1Quality of Impact Evidence
Quality of Impact Evidence captures how confident we are that the nonprofit’s program is leading to impact on its primary outcomes. Nonprofits with high-quality evidence of impact are delivering an intervention that has been shown to work.
2Cost of Impact
How much impact does your dollar buy? We report the best available estimates of average cost and impact on outcomes, giving the donor perspective on what a donation to the organization could achieve.
3Quality of Monitoring Systems
Quality of Monitoring Systems captures how well the nonprofit produces and uses data to ensure it is consistently delivering its program at high quality. Monitoring data demonstrate that the nonprofit is continuing to achieve impact.
4Learning and Iteration
Learning and Iteration captures how a nonprofit makes decisions to change its models. We reward nonprofits that are using high-quality data to learn about areas for improvement, and then act on that data to iterate their model systematically.
What about financial metrics, such as a nonprofit's overhead ratio? Read why these are misleading