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Making an Impact

The aspect of performance is getting a lot of attention these days, as it should. As we slowly continue to navigate the murky COVID waters towards a still-unclear future, there will be mounting pressure to help serve a wider community in need while concurrently dealing with the double-whammy of fundraising concerns, i.e. will we be ready to host and attend a large, people-crammed fundraising event anytime soon?, and expected drops in overall donations due to the effects of the pandemic. What's a community organization to do? Well...actually, two things:

  1. Stop calling yourself a non-profit. Not only are you defining yourself by what you're not, you're essentially using terminology chiefly used by financial and tax-related number crunchers and advisors. Sure, when it comes to filing our taxes and using our charitable registration status, we are absolutely a non-profit organization. But in our day-to-day dealings with people, and in providing programs and services - PCP most adamantly sees itself as a "for-impact" community organization. That's our raison d'être. It's not about being profitable or non-profitable; it's primarily about having an impact on the community we serve. Which brings us to...

  2. How do you properly measure "impact'? For years, most organizations have been stuck in the efficiency silo - delivering the same programs/services but in a less expensive or time-consuming way, or worse, cutting back on staffing and services altogether to save money. Evaluating impact is harder to define and thus measure, and so it hasn't received the attention it deserves. But in the current and foreseeable environment, it's going to be getting a lot more attention - which means that for a for-impact community organization like PCP, we will be paying plenty of attention to properly understanding, assessing, improving, and reporting on our key measures of how exactly we're impacting the community - and more precisely - measuring what truly matters.

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