“Exemplary leaders search for opportunities by seizing the initiative and looking outward for innovative ways to improve; and they experiment and take risks, constantly generating small wins and learning from mistakes.” -Jim Kouzes & Barry Posner. In the world of nonprofit organizations, measuring success is how one gets to know whether the mission is working or not. Yes, we also measure success by experiencing that amazing feeling in our hearts when we see that the mission we’ve set has helped make the world a better place. But, passion and commitment just aren’t enough. We have to be practical and collect necessary data to ensure that we are working and make the required changes accordingly. To stay relevant and keep your organization active, you need to take certain steps such as measuring the organisation's success. Although the goal for every nonprofit organization is to help those in need and make the community and the world a better place, the success measurement method varies depending on the organization. When it comes to measuring success, nonprofits do it a little different as compared to for-profit organizations. “Why” you ask? Unlike for-profit organizations, nonprofits do not have direct competitors; they do it for the cause and the mission. However, the similarity lies in how both organizations set goals - long-term and short-term - as benchmarks to determine their success. Now, it’s a given that for an organization to bear a fruitful outcome, measuring success is imperative, be it a nonprofit organization or a for-profit organization. Here are some of the reasons for nonprofits to measure their success: To ensure that the subject matters are getting the right help they need.To see whether the funds are correctly used for the cause and the mission. To determine which steps or measures are taken are working and which aren’t. To make informed decisions to make changes for the benefit of the mission. Following are the parameters a nonprofit must measure: Effectiveness of the outreach.Communication tactics.Fiscal health. Let’s get back to the topic at hand- How does a nonprofit measure its success? Measurement of success for a nonprofit should be qualitative as well as quantitative in nature. So, in this article, let’s get to know a bit of these two measurements. Quantitative Measurement: Study.com defines quantitative measurement as “the measurement of data that can be put into numbers. The goal of quantitative measurement is to run statistical analysis, so data has to be in numerical form.” Collecting and measuring the numbers of, let’s say, volunteers, earnings, new donors, among others, of the previous year helps in calculating whether there has been performance improvement or not. With this data, you will be able to make informed decisions going forward. Maintain detailed documentation of where the funds come from and are going out. In this digital age, there are many software programs such as Microsoft Excel, which can keep track of important data. There are also various types of quantitative data analysis you could use. Examples of Quantitative Data Analysis Methods Cross-tabulationTrend analysisMaxDiff analysisConjoint analysisTotal Unduplicated Reach and Frequency AnalysisGap analysisSWOT analysisText analysis. Steps for Conducting Quantitative Data Analysis Associating measurement scales such as Nominal, Ordinal, Interval and Ratio with the variables.Linking descriptive statistics to encapsulate available data.Deciding the measurement scale for concluding descriptive statistics for the variable.Selecting the right tables to represent data and analyze collected data. Qualitative Measurement: According to the Classroom, qualitative measurements are “ways of gaining a deeper understanding of a topic. Researchers who are looking to find the meanings behind certain phenomena or are investigating a new topic about which very little is known, use qualitative measures.” This measurement may include how the charity is seen by the community, the organization’s reputation among those who need help, or its steadfastness, among others. These are not easily measured. This can be done by conducting surveys, getting feedback or simply asking questions by conducting interviews. Ask volunteers and recipients about their experiences, This way you will be able to know what is working and what isn’t. Qualitative measurement helps in in-depth analysis and understanding what the community and recipients think. With this type of measurement, it is easier for the organization to get direct answers from the subject matter by probing them. Examples of Qualitative Data Collection Methods: One-to-One InterviewsFocus groups:Record keepingCase studiesProcess of observationLongitudinal studies. Steps for Conducting Quantitative Data Analysis: Collecting all the dataArranging the dataOrganizing all the dataSetting up codes for all the data collectedValidating the dataConcluding the analysis process. It is crucial for every nonprofit organization to have a team to measure the success of their mission. They need to be so dedicated that they know the ins and outs of the mission and performance in order to provide a reliable report so that management and leaders in charge will be able to see exactly where they’ll be needing to take action for the benefit and prosperity of the nonprofit organization. One of the main reasons that nonprofit organizations do not meet their goals is the lack of compassion and dedication that volunteers and employees possess. So, ensure that you hire employees or get volunteers who are passionate about and dedicated to the cause and their work. Learn how to scale-up community-driven change that is inclusive and sustainable with a hands-on program for innovative nonprofit managers. An advanced degree in community development or nonprofit management will equip yourself with leadership skills that are vital to growing your nonprofit organization. So, now that you know how to measure the success of a nonprofit organization, we leave you here with our best wishes and this quote: “No matter what your mission is, have some notion in your head. Forget the model, whether it’s government or nonprofit or profit. Ask yourself the more important question: Is my mission improving the world? Are you sure about it? Seek to disconfirm that all the time. And if you can, change your mission” - Jeff Bezos. Good Luck!