2021 and Looking Forward in Social Impact Measurement

Updated: Mar 29, 2021

As companies and business leaders pull themselves up and out of one of the toughest years in recent memory and we look forward to what 2021 and beyond will hold, we must take a moment to reflect on what we have learnt and what we've accomplished. Whether it's the small upstart that completely pivoted (yes there is that word...) to offer a product or service they had no intention of offering heading into 2020, or the large corporate that was forced to migrate 90 per cent of their workforce to working from home, we have a lot as a business community to be proud of.

The actionable social impact measurement space is no exception, and this leaves the sector positioned well to take advantage of what 2021 and beyond lay ahead. The cynics will say that with tougher economic conditions and tighter corporate spend, that social impact will likely take a hit, and that may be so in the short term. However, frugality almost always breads opportunity.

The advancements in social impact measurement is allowing corporates and the NFP sector alike to work smarter, not harder. The cost of data gathering continues to decline making good quality of data more accessible. The rise of ai. technology in the sector will provide predictive analytics that will in time greatly improve the accuracy and cost efficiency of social impact. This will allow companies to follow a very attractive path forward, whereby assessing social impact and triple bottom line performance becomes more detailed in its analysis. This of course will make it easier for business to share stories of meaningful social impact that stakeholders can be proud of.

Likewise, the gathering popularity of business strategies like Creating Shared Value are providing business with a model to incorporate their social impact into their corporate purpose and strategy. Whether it’s through the exploration of new market opportunities, enhancing their supply chain functionality, or innovation in product development, creating shared value enables business work more effectively in the social impact space.

There is a lot to look forward to in 2021… so watch this space!

James McHugh – Head of Corporate Social Impact at Apricot Consulting

James McHugh is a qualified social worker and is currently completing is Master of Social Impact at Swinburne University. He leads the corporate social impact department of Apricot Consulting which seeks to help organisations with their corporate social impact programs, social and environmental impact strategies and not for profit and social enterprise engagement and relationship management.

If you’d like to get in touch, you can contact him at james.mchugh@apricotconsulting.com.au

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