Measuring action:

A question for philanthropists to reflect on from the outset is, what makes them the most suitable to solve the problem and additionally, are the resources and timeline they are willing to commit to a problem commensurate to the impact they seek? The answers to these reflections begin to guide one’s giving towards effectiveness and impact

Measuring tools:

The very first step to unlock an understanding of the magnitude of one’s contribution to change is to invest in the baseline assessment.

Monitoring – the regular assessment of a set of indicators against the original baseline assessment, charts the steps on the journey to impact. Monitoring periods need to be designed to suit the nature of the intended outcome to be assessed.

A mid or end term evaluation allows the assessment of overall impact of an intervention or investment and tells the story of what changed between the time of the initial investment (baseline) and the end (evaluation).

The impact assessment is useful in understanding the sustainability of an intervention and what changed within a given community or ecosystem in the long-term on account of that investment.

In trying to assess how to institute appropriate and effective measurement and to resource it correctly, investing in the services of an evaluation professional is a useful first step. Additionally, presenting the entire portfolio of one’s philanthropic investments, even if they are as diversified as saving marine environments, investing in tertiary education and providing solar panels; to the evaluation expert would allow them to provide nuanced guidance to the philanthropist into the need, the depth and the benefits of a portfolio approach versus a project based approach, or what an appropriate measurement approach should indeed be.

Technology is playing an increasingly convenient role in tracking of real time results, sharing of data and cost analysis monitoring. Investing in appropriate software could be an added bonus to the measurement process

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