Measuring What Matters
What is the difference between outputs and outcomes? Between outcomes and impact? “Measuring What Matters: The Challenge of Quantifying Social Change” steers clear of jargon and offers an accessible evaluation framework for practitioners. The Metropolitan Group’s methodology approaches evaluation as a spectrum of indicators ranging from Action measures: “What we put in”, “What we create” to Result measures: “What happens”, “What difference it makes.” Gathering data to support each measurement category becomes more of a challenge as you move across the continuum from action measures to results measures. This article includes case studies of how their evaluation framework was applied to several public awareness campaigns such as the National Youth Advocacy Campaign’s “You Know Different” media campaign for increasing the rate of testing for HIV/AIDS among African-American youth and the King County, Washington Library System’s efforts to raise awareness on a ballot initiative that affected library funding. While these case studiesfocus on media campaigns, The Metropolitan Group’s evaluation framework can be easily transferred to the efforts of social change organizations. Also described are seven practical tips for staying focused on measuring what matters. The Metropolitan Group has worked for more than 20 years crafting strategic and creative services to help social purpose organizations build a just and sustainable world.