BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA and Independent Sector Launch Charting Impact
June 09, 2011
Today the strategic alliance of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA and Independent Sector announce the launch of “Charting Impact,” a standard framework for creating reports that enable stakeholders to easily and clearly understand the objectives, benchmarks for progress, and impact of nonprofits and foundations. This sector-wide initiative was developed by nearly 200 leaders to help organizations of all types, sizes, and missions convey their efforts to advance the common good, establishing an industry standard for reporting in-depth mission objectives and results. Charting Impact Reports will be made available for public view through ChartingImpact.org. 

 “One of many benefits for organizations answering Charting Impact’s questions is that it forces deep, meaningful conversations with stakeholders about the impact the organization has made, will make, and how to bridge the gaps,” said Diana Aviv, president and CEO of Independent Sector. “As we refine the process and share our reports we will undoubtedly unleash new possibilities for innovation, collaboration, and for strengthening our work across the sector.”

The cornerstone of Charting Impact is a series of five questions that encourage strategic thinking and the open sharing of ideas, strategies and results within the nonprofit community. Completing a Charting Impact Report will empower organizations to convey their mission, achievements and goals in a way that encourages donors to channel their resources to organizations that best fit their charitable goals; facilitates strategic thinking about mission, practices and how results are measured; and fosters collaboration and idea sharing within the nonprofit community.

“We have long stood for and applied broad accountability standards that cover far more than financial ratios,” said Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance.  “By providing charities a place and structure to share information about their effectiveness, Charting Impact extends still further the resources available to help donors make really informed giving decisions.”

The five questions organizations must answer to complete a Charting Impact Report are:

1.       What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

2.       What are your strategies for making this happen?

3.       What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

4.       How will your organization know if you are making progress?

5.       What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

“Charting Impact reports empower organizations to respond to the specific concerns of donors in one thorough, thoughtful format,” says Bob Ottenhoff, President and CEO of GuideStar USA. “For organizations , the  introspection required to fill out the report is designed with results in mind: increased financial support from donors responding to tangible measures of progress.”

Nonprofits and foundations can respond to these five questions using an online interface available at ChartingImpact.org. Each response includes a character limit, encouraging careful, example-filled descriptions of the organization’s achievements to clearly communicate with an audience of donors and other investors without inundating that audience with information. Responding through ChartingImpact.org produces a formatted Charting Impact Report that will be shared publicly on ChartingImpact.org, on GuideStar USA or BBB Wise Giving Alliance profiles, and—in the future—with other websites and information sources. Individual nonprofits and foundations can also share their Charting Impact Report on their own websites.