It’s easy in life to fail to see the forest for the trees. We can get so caught in the daily aspects of life that we fail to step back and reflect on our lives and the impact we have on others. That’s why all of us need to establish some habit, ritual, or process—such as meditation, prayer, or a walk in the neighborhood—that helps us—indeed that forces us—to reflect frequently.
That expression and the need to establish a habit of reflection apply to organizations as well.
At National Fatherhood Initiative (NFI), we’ve established a process of ongoing activities that measure our impact. We:
- Track the resources we’ve distributed for dads and moms and that build the capacity of organizations to serve dads. Since our founding in 1994, we’ve distributed more than 8 million resources.
- Track the number of organizations and staff we’ve trained. Since 2002, we’ve trained more than 6,800 organizations and 28,000 staff.
- Conduct environmental scans to identify independent evaluations of our programs that have been completed or are underway. When we identify an evaluation, we contact the lead researcher to determine whether we can acquire the results if the evaluation is done or when it will be done. When we can acquire the results, we determine whether they can help us improve a program. We publish the results on our website when they contribute something new to our understanding of a program’s impact. Click here to view evaluations of our programs.
- Conduct environmental scans to identify independent testimonials on our programs from organization staff (e.g. facilitators of our programs) and dads. When we identify a testimonial that adds to our understanding of a program’s impact (e.g. on a different kind of organization or group of dads), we determine whether we can link to it or acquire it for placement on our website. Click here to view testimonials on our programs.
On a quarterly basis, we update our Impact Infographic below. (If you would like to download it, click on it and save it. You can also click here anytime to acquire the most recent update.) These frequent updates help our staff step back and reflect on our impact. (Incidentally, we also review staff performance on a quarterly basis—not just once a year—to help staff step back and reflect on how they contribute to our impact.)
The Impact Infographic includes not only the latest numbers of resources distributed and organizations and staff trained. It also shows the most important aspect of our impact: how we partner with organizations like yours to deliver our programs and other resources.
This symbiotic relationship is the key to our impact. We couldn’t have impact without the thousands of organizations that use our resources. Your success in serving dads leads to our success. We never lose sight of that fact. We’re so grateful for the service you provide to families in your community!
How does your organization measure its impact overall and in serving dads? Does it do so frequently enough?
How does your organization help each staff member step back and reflect on how they contribute to your organization’s impact overall and in serving dads?