Measuring impact

Justin Sykes of Innovest Advisory introduced workshop attendees to the basics of impact measurement and management


Circle hosted an interactive and informative workshop on Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) for its institutional donor network. Held in a hybrid format (virtual and in-person), the workshop was designed and delivered by Justin Sykes of Innovest Advisory, with the aim of introducing workshop attendees to the basics of impact measurement and management.

Beginning with a theoretical overview on Impact Strategy, the session also covered the ‘What, the Who and the Why’ on grant funders looking to measure and manage impact. 

Next, it provided insight into how to develop an impact strategy, detailing the three components to a good strategy: An Impact Thesis, Theory of Change and Impact Measurement Framework.

This was followed by breakout sessions where participants were put into groups and given a fictitious project scenario for which they were asked to develop their own mini-impact strategy. They created summary impact goals, a skeleton theory of change and some sample KPIs and metrics that related back to their impact goals and theory of change.

The following segment of the session focused on how an impact strategy can be used as a tool to screen and select the most appropriate organisations to fund. This selection and due diligence process is essential to the success of an organisation’s impact strategy as it ensures alignment of grants with the overall impact focus of the funder.

Finally, participants were introduced to the key principles of an IMM system, the various stages of setting up an IMM system and the various approaches to reporting impact data.

The final session of the workshop covered practical case studies both geographically and thematically relevant to participants. The case studies explored theory of change development, setting of KPIs and metrics, implementing a measurement methodology and how to communicate results from beneficiary surveys.

The workshop ended with attendees providing feedback from the breakout session and their reflections on how they can apply the impact strategy theory and IMM tools within their organisations. 

Exclusively for members: A guide to Impact Measurement from Innovest Advisory. Download it here.