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Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations

The Social Profit Handbook offers those who lead, govern, and support mission-driven organizations and businesses new ways to assess their impact in order to improve future work rather than merely judge past performance. For-profit institutions measure their success primarily by monetary gains. But nonprofit institutions are different; they aim for social profit. How do you measure the success of these social profit institutions, where missions are focused on the well-being of people, place, and planet? Drawing upon decades of leadership in schools and the foundation and nonprofit worlds, author David Grant offers strategies—from creating mission time to planning backwards to constructing qualitative assessment rubrics—that help organizations take assessment back into their own hands, and improve their work as a result. His insights, illustrated by numerous case studies, make this book a unique organizational development tool for a wide range of nonprofit organizations, as well as emerging mission-based social venture businesses, such as low-profit corporations and B Corps. The Social Profit Handbook presents assessment and evaluation not as ends in themselves but as the path toward achieving what matters most in the social sector. The result: more benefits to society and stronger, more unified, more effective organizations prepared to make the world a better place.


Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Site Visit Rubric

The program directors at The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation set out to write a rubric on one of their core performances -- the site visit. (See pages 88-95 in The Social Profit Handbook.) What began as one rubric quickly became three: one on preparation; one on the site visit itself; and one on follow-up. The next-to-highest level of the rubric is named after a core value of the Foundation: Respect for Grantees. And the top of the rubric is called: Our Goal: Exceeding the Standard. From the book: "We were conducting a very personal style of philanthropy. It is the kind you can do if you are rooted in place ... and you have many long-standing relationships with grantees."

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Green Faith Rubric

GreenFaith is a faith-based environmental organization whose mission is to "inspire, educate and mobilize people of diverse religious backgrounds for environmental leadership." Their rubric explores what success looks like in many areas of "greening" churches, mosques, and synagogues -- from worship services to facilities to religious education to investment practices. The rubric was a stepping stone to the creation of the nation's first interfaith environmental certification program.

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Whole Measures - Transforming Our Vision and Measures of Success

What organizations and communities measure often determines what they pay attention to and says much about what they value. We believe that one of the greatest challenges currently faced by the conservation movement – and others seeking to create stronger relationships between healthy people, communities and lands – is the way we define, talk about and measure success. The challenge is that we become what we measure, and conservationists primarily measure dollars, acres, and biological diversity. Conservation’s real success is bigger than biological diversity, bigger than smart growth, bigger than wilderness designations. It’s even bigger than the 14 million acres conserved by conservationists in the last decade. Real success is conservation’s ability to re-define for Americans their health, their relationships, and their sense of fairness. Real success is achieved when conservationists work in partnership with other groups to engage more people in building just and vibrant communities. Real success is found in conservation’s contribution to restoring our common wealth – the natural, social, civic and economic assets held in common for the well-being of all community members.

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Whole Measures for Community Food Systems

Values-based planning and evaluation tool designed to measure the qualitative and quantitative impacts of community-based food projects - developed by the Center for Whole Communities in collaboration with the Community Food Security Coalition. From the guide: "Whole Measures for Community Food Systems is designed to give organizations and communities a collaborative process for defining and expressing their complex stories and the multiple outcomes that emerge from their work."

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Whole Measures for Urban Conservation

Whole Measures for Urban Conservation (WMUC), based on the Center for Whole Communities’ Whole Measures, was produced in partnership with The Nature Conservancy as part of the launch of the North America Cities Network. Led by Center for Whole Communities, a team of Conservancy staff from the Cities Network developed the rubric and provided key input for the guidance portion of the document. WMUC includes four primary areas of measurement and is a reference point for leaders interested in prioritizing benefits to low-income communities and advancing justice and equity in their work. While this document serves as a primary appendix to the Field Guide to Conservation in Cities, it is designed as a stand-alone document that may be used and reproduced independently.

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Create Your Own Rubric

This online tool allows you to create a free account to craft and manage your own rubrics.