Part of acting as an effective advocate for your organisation is gathering the evidence you need to support the message that your organisation makes a difference in people’s lives.
Why measure impact?
Measuring impact is not just about attracting resources to your museum; it's actually central to making sure that you are achieving your charitable objectives. By setting up and implementing effective monitoring and evaluation systems, your museum will be better able to:
Learn from your current work and make improvements for the future. Your museum will only know how much it is helping individuals, supporting communities, and promoting your collection, if you are evaluating your programming. By monitoring your social impact, you will better understand the difference you are making through your programming, and learn where you can improve how you deliver your services. You can use findings from your impact measurement to improve your activities, leading to better results for your participants.
More effectively communicate the value of your organisation. By measuring your social impact, you will be better able to tell the public the positive changes you bring about in an effective way. Monitoring your impact will help you to develop important data and collect powerful stories to use to promote your organisation, helping you to attract new users and supporters.
Demonstrate the accountability of your programming to current and future funders. Reporting back to funders with quality reports can increase your opportunities for attracting future funding, and you can use the strength of your impact measurement to attract further support. The impact your museum makes on the local economy will be of particular interest both to local businesses, and to your local authority: being able to provide a reliable figure for this will make your arguments for investment more persuasive.
Encourage future collaboration. You can share findings from your impact measurement with existing partners, and with other organisations in the sector, highlighting the value of your work to potential collaborators.
Ensuring your message is impactful
Measuring the economic impact and social impact of your museum and its programming will help you to construct more authoritative messages. These pages and the resources they refer to will help you to analyse your work and create a more effective advocacy platform.
As we have discussed in our ‘Advocacy: where to start’ page, to ensure your message has the desired effect in influencing those you are advocating to, RAP your message to make more impact:
- Be Rational: keep a level head and instil confidence in others about your work;
- Be Authoritative: provide facts and figures about your impact.
- Be Positive: phrasing your message positively can help the recipient to be more receptive to what you are saying.
You can also find all this information in the full Advocacy guidance toolkit we have produced.