Charting Impact

In recent years there has been growing interest in examining the effectiveness of the charities and other nonprofits that play so important a part in American life.  Charting Impact, a new project developed by BBB Wise Giving Alliance, GuideStar USA, and Independent Sector, is a response to this interest.  It provides a framework of five questions that organizations of all types, sizes and missions can use to describe what they want to achieve and what they have already accomplished.  A key aspect of the project is that the reports produced by participating organizations will be available online for public view through  Charting Impact was developed, tested, and refined with input from nearly 200 nonprofit and philanthropic leaders across the country.

To the public, Charting Impact reports offer concise, detailed information, in a consistent format, about what individual nonprofits are aiming to accomplish.  Such reports can counteract the emphasis on ratios or other narrow criteria too often used as sole measures of charity value. They can enhance the information available to the public in the Alliance’s evaluative reports.

For charities, working through the Charting Impact framework can have additional benefits. It encourages organizations to think strategically about how they will achieve their goals. It can position them to work with and learn from other organizations.  For national charities that file requested information with the BBB Wise Giving Alliance, there is a specific benefit: completing Charting Impact can help a charity meet Standard 7 of the Alliance’s Standards for Charity Accountability, which calls for a charity to submit to its governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines its performance and effectiveness.  

To access Charting Impacts reports and/or to find out how reports are produced visit