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Service Impact Series: Part 1

With a desire to expand our Impact and positive Influence in our communities and the world, welcome to our 4 part series on Service Impact!


The first step of determining the true Impact of our service or program is to determine our baseline: How Are We Doing??


I’m sure you’re familiar with a basic SWOT Analysis by now (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats). When considering your nonprofit services or programs, here’s a few areas in which conducting a SWOT analysis can be extremely helpful in determining your true Impact:

  • Overall systems of service delivery

  • Staffing, roles, workflows and task completion

  • Budget

  • Quality assurance and compliance

  • Achievement of specified program outcomes, contract deliverables, etc

  • Client/ consumer progress, impact and feedback


So as you reflect on your programmatic and service delivery and impact, where are some areas that you can claim Strengths, and where may you need a few tweaks to serve your community even better in 2022??


Next, let's consider Programmatic Goal Setting & Alignment! While your agency may have an overall vision and mission, each individual program or service you conduct is HOW you actually achieve that vision and mission.


For example, your vision may be to “eradicate homelessness”, and you may have a few different services/ programs that drive that vision. Maybe you offer job readiness training for the unhoused, a food service distribution program, and short term housing solutions for individuals and families. In the context of this program development discussion, we need to evaluate each one of these 3 “programs or services” individually, even though they combine to achieve your agency mission. These services may have different consumer bases, funding sources and costs, staffing needs, and ultimately outcomes.


As a result, it’s imperative that we have clear Goals for each service! Here’s a few things to consider when determining Service Goals:

1) Clearly state each of your program/ service goals. Ideally you have 2-3 major SMART goals for each program/ service. For more help with this, here’s a great link: Basic Guide to Nonprofit Program Design and Marketing (managementhelp.org)

2) Under each program/ service goal, detail the action steps you will take to achieve this goal. Action steps should include the task, person(s) responsible, and timeframe for completion.

3) State the intended client/ consumer outcome for each goal. What should the client or consumer be able to do once they’ve participated in your program or service?


And don’t forget, your individual program and service goals must also be aligned with your overall departmental and agency strategic goals and initiatives! So even if your program and service goals are clearly delineated, there may be opportunities for alignment or realignment as agency and community priorities change constantly.


Be sure to tune in next month as we chat more about determining Criteria for Success!





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