A social impact model, is a framework of how social impact is achieved. It is a comprehensive document that defines the impact goals of the project, how they are measured and what the steps are to realise them. It is comparable to a business model, which contains the details of how a business runs in order to create revenue.

Social impact takes on many forms and the


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What resources do you need to launch and start operations?


  • Virtual or physical space

  • Capital or donations

  • Tools

  • Technology

  • Skills

  • Supplies

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How will you utilise your resources?


  • Marketing

  • Production

  • Transport

  • Special events

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What is the output/outcome of operations?


  • Product

  • Service

  • Program

  • Awareness or lobbying

  • Excess funds that can be socially reinvested

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What are the direct and long term impacts of your outputs?


  • Awareness

  • Employment

  • Access to products or services

  • Donations

  • Sustainability

  • Empowerment

  • Opportunity


Why is an impact model useful?

  • Assists with strategic planning decisions - what are desired results? Changes/improvements?

  • Encourages accountability - Where is the project succeeding and failing?

  • Promotes cohesion and efficiency - What sequence of events will achieve impact? How does it all fit together?

  • Ensures measurement - Having an impact model implies a plan of action. The only way to know how well you are tracking, is to measure progress. An impact model provides something to strive for, as well as something to learn from.