ImpactMatters ("us", "we", or "our") operates www.impactm.org (the "Service").
This page informs you of our policies regarding the collection, use, and disclosure of personal data when you use our Service and the choices you have associated with that data.
We collect several different types of information for various purposes to provide and improve our Service to you.
While using our Service, we may ask you to provide us with certain personally identifiable information that can be used to contact or identify you ("Personal Data"). Personally identifiable information may include, but is not limited to:
We may also collect information how the Service is accessed and used ("Usage Data"). This Usage Data may include information such as your computer's Internet Protocol address (e.g. IP address), browser type, browser version, the pages of our Service that you visit, the time and date of your visit, the time spent on those pages, unique device identifiers and other diagnostic data.
Cookies are files with small amount of data which may include an anonymous unique identifier. Cookies are sent to your browser from a website and stored on your device. Tracking technologies also used are beacons, tags, and scripts to collect and track information and to improve and analyze our Service.
You can instruct your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, if you do not accept cookies, you may not be able to use some portions of our Service.
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ImpactMatters uses the collected data for various purposes:
Your information, including Personal Data, may be transferred to — and maintained on — computers located outside of your state, province, country or other governmental jurisdiction where the data protection laws may differ than those from your jurisdiction.
If you are located outside United States and choose to provide information to us, please note that we transfer the data, including Personal Data, to United States and process it there.
ImpactMatters may disclose your Personal Data in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to:
The security of your data is important to us, but remember that no method of transmission over the Internet, or method of electronic storage is 100% secure. While we strive to use commercially acceptable means to protect your Personal Data, we cannot guarantee its absolute security.
We may employ third party companies and individuals to facilitate our Service ("Service Providers"), to provide the Service on our behalf, to perform Service-related services or to assist us in analyzing how our Service is used.
These third parties have access to your Personal Data only to perform these tasks on our behalf and are obligated not to disclose or use it for any other purpose.
We have no control over and assume no responsibility for the content, privacy policies or practices of any third party sites or services.
Our Service does not address anyone under the age of 18 ("Children").
We do not knowingly collect personally identifiable information from anyone under the age of 18. If you are a parent or guardian and you are aware that your Children has provided us with Personal Data, please contact us. If we become aware that we have collected Personal Data from children without verification of parental consent, we take steps to remove that information from our servers.
Fixed costs don't increase when you expand your program. For example, you won't hire a second executive director if you win a big grant. Marginal costs expand with each new participant, site and so on.
When analyzing your costs, both are good to keep in mind. However, marginal costs are usually more important. You have to pay your fixed costs regardless. But how you choose to implement your program effects marginal costs. Is your counseling going to be more or less extensive? Is the travel voucher for $50 or $100?
Comparing marginal costs of a program to the outcomes that program generates tells you whether it is a good use of your precious resources.
A program is cost-effective if it is achieving high impact relative to alternative uses of its resources.
Imagine you are designing training. One option is to have a weeklong, onsite meeting. A second is to hold virtual training sessions. The onsite meeting may be more effective - but it will also be substantially more expensive. Analyzing cost-effectiveness allows you to determine if it is "worth it".
How do you analyze cost-effectiveness? Simple: divide cost by impact. For example: A program graduates an additional 10 students (net of counterfactual) at a cost of $10,000. The cost-effectiveness of the program is ($10,000 / 10 graduations) = $1,000 per additional graduation.
"Attrition" is when some people stop responding to a survey. People who stop responding might have different outcomes from the people you do survey, leading you to overestimate impact (or, less commonly, underestimate).
For example, a permanent housing program may survey participants one year after the program ended. The people who lost housing don't have an address, so you might not be able to collect data on them.
The counterfactual is a hypothetical: what would have happened if we had made a different choice? The answer is: lots of things. By comparing what would have happened if we didn't make the choice (counterfactual) with what actually happened we can determine what our choice (for instance, to run a program) accomplished.
This is a fancy way of saying whether we caused a change or whether it is attributable to us. This is crucial to know because it tells us whether we should make the same choice in the future.
Funding is scarce: should we expand our program or find a different model that causes the lives of the people we serve to improve?
Outcome metrics are the direct measures of the success of a program in achieving its mission. Consider a program to reduce childhood mortality that provides free vaccinations to children in a rural area with poor medical infrastructure. The program might track the number of children treated, and the incidence of preventable childhood illnesses in the area it serves.
The first is an intermediate outcome. It captures progress toward achieving a primary outcome. The second is a primary outcome. It indicates the program’s success.
Outputs track delivery of a treatment (for example, 10 trainees participated in job training). In contrast, outcomes reflect success toward a philanthropic mission.
One way to distinguish outputs from outcomes to assess whether the variable is valuable in its own right or, instead, a means to an end. Some outputs – like meals served – can be in and of themselves valuable (as well as a mean to ends like budget relief and improved health status).
Other outputs are solely a means to an end; for example, 700 children taught with new curriculum. Most observers including the nonprofits themselves would not consider switching to a new curriculum "good" unless doing so engendered some desired changed. In this case, implementing the new curriculum might have been a step toward achieving an outcome but not valuable in and of itself.
Here are six tips for defining good outcome metrics:
Some benefits happen immediately and some happen in the future. In general, social scientists assume that a $1 benefit received in a year is worth less than a $1 benefit received today. And a cost of $1 incurred in a year is also worth less than a cost of $1 incurred today.
Here’s the intuition. Consider you have the choice to receive a check for $1,000 today or one in a year. All else equal, you would choose to get the check today - because you can spend it on something pressing or invest it and generate a return. In other words, although the benefits are the same on paper, you discount the benefit you can only use in the future. Cost-effectiveness analysis captures this in the form of a discount rate, which is typically set at 5%. This means we would value that same $1,000 payment in a year at $950 today.
Third-party effects, also known as externalities, are costs or benefits borne by non-participating individuals. For example, a job training program might benefit participants but harm non-participants by creating short-run competition for available positions and by reducing wage growth in the long run.
Externalities can be difficult to measure. However, it’s important to keep them in mind when designing and evaluating programs, as sometimes they can be substantial.