May 2, 2016 8:49 am

MilkCrate is going all in on impact measurement right now

The social enterprise is piloting its own tech to measure impact in CSR. It also recently piloted GoodCompany Ventures' Social Impact Projection tool.


(Courtesy photo)

Almost everybody in the social impact space is trying to quantify the actual social impact they’re making. Local social enterprise MilkCrate is trying to build impact measurement into its business model.

The web and mobile app, built to help consumers connect with local sustainable businesses, is currently piloting some new technology called MilkCrate for Communities that helps companies measure Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) — both externally and internally.

“We’re engaging, tracking and rewarding socially and environmentally impactful behavior of the members of the community,” said founder Morgan Berman. For instance, a company’s employees can use the app to make “more sustainable life choices.”

"We’re engaging, tracking and rewarding socially and environmentally impactful behavior of the members of the community."
Morgan Berman

The new tech also streamlines the volunteering process by connecting users to new opportunities in hopes of increasing volunteer hours.

The number one issue companies have with CSR, Berman said, is metrics and reporting. And, in a way, using the app can be CSR in itself.

“By using a premium version of the app, [employees] are going to be able to have their actions tracked and be rewarded for it,” Berman said. “The company will be able to use those metrics for internal culture sculpting but also external image sculpting.”

Those metrics can shape messaging to help attract talent, investment and partnership opportunities — something MilkCrate itself welcomes. The social enterprise just piloted GoodCompany VenturesSocial Impact Projection model with Investors’ Circle Philadelphia — members recently contributed to the company’s $225,000 raise — looking at projected finances and social impact.

Berman said it was a smooth process for MilkCrate because financial and social impact are so closely aligned within the business model, as the company’s social mission is to shift dollars toward the local sustainability economy.

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As for MilkCrate for Communities, Berman said companies are still being signed up for the pilot class, and the technology is set to launch next month. Berman said the company is looking to pilot the technology with any corporation, university, prep school or nonprofit membership group “as close to the city as possible.”


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