Feb. 1, 2016 8:30 am

What you think is impact might just be ‘activity’

Quality over quantity.

Get yourself some real impact.

(Photo by Flickr user GlobalPartnership for Education, used under a Creative Commons license)

Real impact isn’t just getting a school a bunch of books, according to author and impact investing reporter Devin Thorpe. It’s not pumping schools full of books and hoping for the best.

The real impact, he writes in Forbes, is “the changes, positive we hope, that are yielded in the lives of the children.” That means actual results — better grades, better literacy, better college acceptance rates.

It’s this fundamental understanding, he writes, that is drawing more folks into the impact investing sector, as interested parties on the outskirts graduate from asking “what is impact investing?” to “how do I do it?”

And, as always, the conversation comes back to impact metrics. We already know social entrepreneurs should try to keep their metrics as simple as possible and know their limits — we also know there’s no lowest common denominator for measuring impact.

Regardless, in the video below, Thorpe chats with Global Impact Investing Network cofounder Amit Bouri, who is helping build a database of metrics that aims to find a standard for measuring impact.


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