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Hetal Sheth 3/3/19 7:57 PM 9 min read

How Impact Knowledge Graph Simplifies Impact Management & Strategy?

Are you a chief impact officer overwhelmed by a new impact knowledge ecosystem of many impact knowledge sources and a maze of standards, framework, and tools? 

Introducing Impact Knowledge Graph 

Impact Knowledge Graph is a publicly available resource (designed with free impact strategy application within Impact Cloud) that allows you to search and modify your entire impact management strategy with structured knowledge and unique impact for each initiative or program. This Impact knowledge Graph is shareable, has clear impact statement, built quickly, has elements of evidence, risk, and assumptions.


How it Simplifies Impact Management & Strategy?

SoPact collaborates with leading knowledge sources and integrates them in a structured, open source and easy to use form. Impact Cloud appropriately combines impact themes, strategy, evidence map, and indicators.  Impact Practitioners, Chief Impact Officers, and organization leaders can start with out-of-box impact themes from GIIN or create own based on a library of impact themes &  impact strategy based other out of the box impact themes. Asset Managers and Assets can share and collaborate with a structured impact knowledge graph and align with their internal goals.

Refer Impact strategy for more information.

To summarize the impact knowledge graph (i.e., impact strategy) consists of -

  • Out of box Impact  Themes

  • Theory of change

  • Global Impact Metrics Catalog

  • Custom Metrics

  • Impact Thesis

  • Evidence Map

  • 5 Dimensions: Impact Management Project

  • Data Strategy

Now that impact knowledge graph packages structured knowledge, it’s time to make them actionable. 

Read More: How to Maximize Impact Measurement and Management?


Configuration vs. Customization 

Customization Based Systems: Many legacy custom applications require software vendors to modify business objects. Hence, the user has to rely on the software vendor to customize the code based on a programmatic approach. .NET, Java or legacy client/server application fall into this category.

Hybrid Systems: While systems like Salesforce CRM can configure, each Salesforce instance must be customized by expensive Salesforce developers (either in-house or by an external consultant). For example, if you want to upgrade from IRIS 4.0 to IRIS 5.0, you must rebuild your metrics catalog. There are advance services possible but building business user-configurable system that is flexible takes a lot of effort. Most social sector organizations cannot develop such software.

Business User Driven Configuration: No developer configuration needed: Impact Cloud is designed in such a way that any user can configure business rules without any technical knowledge. It is at least ten times faster to implement than Salesforce and easier to maintain.


While this usage is relatively common some larger organizations have started to adopt Salesforce and other custom development tools.

Impact data are quite dynamic and context-sensitive. Accurate data aggregation requires a flexible system. There are many challenges of aggregating results from different partners (grantees, investees or programs).

  1. Each of them may have unique key indicators
  2. Assigning same metrics may not be feasible as a partner may not be collecting results
  3. The partner may not have the same context of impact.
  4. The partner can demonstrate impact with a well-aligned mix of qualitative and quantitative results. This may not be possible with a system that can offer only limited reporting format types
  5. Aggregating results from different sources mainly qualitative and quantitative may be very challenging

Has any foundation or funds successfully deployed Salesforce or other custom software that can scale to hundreds of grantees or investees and aggregate qualitative and quantitative results unique to each of them?

Read More: How to Streamline IRIS Impact Measurement and Management?


What is Impact Cloud®?

Sopact Impact Cloud ® is one the most flexible, comprehensive and easy to use platform that simplifies various frameworks and standards and makes it easy to engage different stakeholders.  Not only different entities below can aggregate results, but it also provides an amazingly easy to use data aggregation at the hub and spoke level. Below are a few examples of a few hubs.

  • Businesses can work with different departments, regional areas or business units by impact area to aggregate results on the predetermined frequencies.  
  • Funders can work with investees or grantees to aggregate output, outcome and qualitative results on a regular time.
  • States & Countries can work with different NGOs and agencies working on sustainable development goal programs to aggregate results and build effective SDG Tracker or customer impact aggregation.


At the spoke level Impact Organization working close to programs can easily aggregate system data from any data sources and simplify report aggregation.

Theory of change led applications of Impact Cloud simplifies impact reporting for funding or portfolio organizations or program organizations working close to beneficiaries or stakeholders. The platform is designed to encourage a better social impact knowledge collaboration and simplify due diligence, portfolio management, data management, and lean data analytics.What is Impact Knowledge Graph and how does it simplify Impact Measurement and Management

1. Impact Knowledge Graph (Theory Of Change App)

The journey start with creating Impact Knowledge Graph as described in Impact Strategy.  As described in Impact Strategy, organization can start with publicly available, sharable or new Impact Knowledge Graph.

Impact Knowledge Graph consist of,  

  • Partners can create their own impact strategy and align with funders
  • Rapid Impact Strategy for Fund & Programs
  • Use Public Domain, GIIN, SDG and IRIS based Impact Strategy
  • Creating Visual Theory of change with complete impact statement and impact map
  • Global Impact Metrics Catalog : Select metrics from 4000+ standard most common metrics and automatically align with SDG Goals and Targets
  • Custom Metrics: Create custom metrics with 20+ qualitative and quantitative reporting format, provides automatic validation rules to match reporting format, usage guidance, help link, example reporting and comments including supporting evidence & stories
  • Impact Thesis : Align Indicators with SDG Goals and Targets - to be used for a consistent reporting for impact scorecard
  • Data Strategy (Very Important Feature): Align Metrics with Data Collected from different sources instantaneously.

    1)  Define formula to calculate results automatically
    2) Find missing data collected and update data collection strategy immediately

Read More: How to Connect Theory of Change Steps?


2. Impact Manager - Impact Portfolio Aggregation

Build portfolio investee, grantee and projects so that portfolio level summarization and visualization is available

Portfolio Management
  • Investee, Grantee, Projects: Create & Import portfolio of prospective, active and indicative portfolio
  • Portfolio Profile: Flexible user configurable portfolio profile to align with publicly available TONIIC T-100 type of portfolio design or any customized portfolio 
  • Results Collection from Partners
  • Comprehensive way to aggregate impact data back from partners
    • Assign Core, Program and Investee/Grantee specific metrics.
    • Import Results: Import historical results from each
    • Partner Data Entry: Send email to partner. Partner will see only those metrics with all impact data validation, usage guideline, example reporting, help link and comments with attachment, evidence, story or documents
    • Self Data Entry: Program management can enter results
    • Baseline, Targets, Actuals: Define baseline and targets and partners can provide actual which can be used in impact scorecard
Results Tracker
Get 360 degrees views of programs of results or impact data collection from each results
  • Track Result Collection : Look at complete status of data collection for each partner
  • Notification Reminder : Send reminders to partners if they haven't completed or ask them to rework if necessary
  • Thank You email templates: Send thank you note to the partners who completed with success


Read More: 5 Ways to Improve Nonprofit Theory of Change


3. Impact Maker - The best Lean Data Measurement

Comprehensive ways to aggregate impact data back from partners
Assign funder specific metrics to each project and start building report for each in a short time

  • Import Data: Import data from any sources Salesforce, Online Survey, Offline Survey or any other external sources
  • Self Data Entry: Program management can enter results
  • Baseline, Targets, Actuals: Define baseline and targets and partners can provide actual which can be used in impact scorecard
    Measure Individual, Cohort outcome using smart outcome management and

Online Survey

  • Built-in Survey Tool: While client can use any popular survey tool, Impact Cloud Survey tool allows real-time results collection and analysis
  • Formula for calculating individual outcome, proxy and outcome measurement

Integration with most mobile offline data collection application

Master Data Management - Cleanse, Transform and Merge

Aggregate results from and unify results under single data sheet for a complete analysis


Read More: What is Lead Data Management?


4. Impact Insight - Impact Learning Made Easy

Build a flexible impact scorecard (qualitative, quantitative) and analytics (visualization) that provides deeper insight into partners results, comparison between similar partners and results over a long period

Impact Scorecard: Build a dynamic impact scorecard based on the appropriate filter. Each partner or aggregated partners can show results by SDG Goal, SDG Targets, Indicators, Baseline, Target and Actual results data (for individual partners)

  • Integrated qualitative and quantitative reporting
  • Charts that alings various reporting requirements (rules or filters)
  • Portfolio Summary and Visualization
  • Branding color, Style, Social Share, Share JPG/PNG for powerpoint, Share with Reports, Share with Dashboards
  • Build as many dashboard with real-time results reporting

Read More: How to Achieve Advance Impact Measurement?


5. Impact Report - Raise Smart Impact Capital

From well-tested and reporting framework and template build impactful report for different stakeholders.

1) Impact Investors,

2) Boards,

3) Foundations,

4) Internal Team etc

  • Build automated templates for different types of stakeholder reporting
  • Flexible Layouts
  • Flexible Designer: Text, Image
  • Theory of Change
  • Portfolio Summary
  • Visualization From Portfolio
  • Visualization From Analytics
  • Impact Management Project ( 5 - Dimensions of Impact )

Read More: 5 Reasons for Measuring Social Impact in Social Enterprise


6. SROI - Social Return on Investment

SROI Application uses all the results from stakeholder data and survey results and calculates results as defined by Social Value International (SVI) 7 Principles of SROI.  This application is certified by the SVI. 

Read More: How to Calculate Social Return on Investment?


 Unifying Impact Ecosystem

Impact ecosystem and Impact management

Impact Cloud allows you to scale your partner ecosystem by gradually scaling the data capacity of their partners (grantees, investees or projects)

Build a comprehensive theory of change led impact strategy that aligns with public impact themes and standards that allows measuring each partner (investee, grantee, project) results and aggregate

  • Partners can create their impact strategy and align with funders
  • Partners can automatically submit results to donors
    Gradually onboard partners to improve their data management capability

Provide an appropriate data security and access

Partners can decide access to different types of data:

  • Beneficiary, Project Summary, Story, Theory Of Change etc
  • Support for Funders managing all data privacy    

Read More: How to Strategize in an End to End Impact Ecosystem?


We are Building an Effective Impact Ecosystem with Practitioners

Impact Practitioners are encouraged to use Free Impact Strategy application within Impact Cloud.  This application allows to not only reuse public knowledge but allows to create additional knowledge similar to Wikipedia. SoPact aim to build a bridge between strategic impact standards bodies and impact practices to simplify the use of standards and framework and create an ecosystem provider who can collaborate to grow the space by making it actionable. 

We encourage any impact practitioners to

  • Develop new impact themes and strategy in an open source approach

  • Develop new impact themes and strategy for a client

  • Start pre-packaged impact themes and start to build rapid applications, such as

    • SDG Tracker for rapidly aggregating results.

    • Early-stage impact startup with limited resources and no impact data can use evidence library, SROI and impact management approach to build effective short impact report to align with impact investors.

    • Work with funders to implement impact data aggregation program.

    • Work with nonprofits and social enterprise to build a simple data collection & aggregation system.

    • Work with nonprofits and social enterprise to build outcome management or social impact assessment approach.

    • Work with impact investors looking to start on impact strategy to refine impact strategy and reporting -- acting Chief Impact Officer!

More ideas or Feedback?  Please provide more ideas through our contribute process! Learn More about Unifying Impact Ecosystem  

Read More: Why and when to opt for Impact Consulting?

Learn More - Social Impact Strategy

Scale your impact practice. Sign up for Free Impact Cloud.


Hetal Sheth

The founder of Ektta, and co-founder of SoPact, Hetal holds a deep passion for establishing enduring impact management practices in the social sector to have built-in learning and accountability.