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Stakeholder Impact Analysis

Maximize the impact of your decisions with stakeholder impact analysis. At Sopact, we believe that actionable insights lead to positive change. Explore our impact strategy app, library of strategies, training, and examples to get started today.

Stakeholder impact analysis

Stakeholder impact analysis systematically examines how a decision or action will impact the various groups and individuals involved. This method provides a comprehensive understanding of the potential consequences and can inform the development of effective strategies for managing those impacts.

As businesses and organizations continue to grow and expand, it's become increasingly important to understand the impact they have on the wider community. This is where the concept of social impact analysis comes into play. In this article, we'll explore what social impact analysis is, why it's important, and how it can be used to drive positive change.

By performing stakeholder impact analysis, organizations can minimize negative impacts and maximize positive outcomes. This process can also help identify and address any potential conflicts, build trust with stakeholders, and improve overall decision-making. However, conducting a thorough impact analysis can take much work.

With Sopact, stakeholder impact analysis is straightforward and actionable. Our impact strategy app streamlines the process, giving you the ability to quickly and effectively analyze the impact of your decisions. Watch our impact strategy video, click through our library of strategies, and explore our training and examples to get started on your impact analysis journey today. 

Why is Social Impact Analysis Important?

There are several reasons why social impact analysis is essential. Firstly, it helps businesses and organizations understand the impact they are having on the community. This information can then be used to make informed decisions about the direction of the organization, and to identify areas where changes can be made to drive positive impact.

Secondly, social impact analysis can help organizations identify areas where they can make a positive impact on the community. For example, if an organization is having a negative impact on the environment, social impact analysis can help them identify opportunities to reduce their carbon footprint, or to find ways to be more sustainable.

Finally, social impact analysis can help organizations build positive relationships with the community. By demonstrating their commitment to the community and their willingness to listen to feedback, organizations can build trust and earn the support of the wider community.

How to Conduct a Social Impact Analysis

Conducting a social impact analysis requires a thorough understanding of the project or organization, as well as the wider community. To begin the process, organizations should gather data on the project or organization, including its size, operations, and finances. This data can then be used to identify areas where the project or organization is having an impact on the community.

Next, organizations should engage with the wider community to gather their feedback and perspectives on the impact of the project or organization. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, and other methods of community engagement.

Once the data has been gathered, it's time to analyze the impact of the project or organization on the wider community. This includes evaluating the economic, social, environmental, and cultural effects of the project or organization, and identifying areas where the impact is positive and areas where it is negative.

Finally, organizations should use the information gathered during the social impact analysis to identify improvement areas and develop a plan to drive positive change. This may include implementing new initiatives, changing operations, or engaging with the community in new ways.

Understanding Stakeholder Impact: Examples and  Best Practices

In today's rapidly changing business landscape, it's increasingly essential for organizations to understand and manage the impact of their actions on all stakeholders, including employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, and the environment. Effective stakeholder management can help companies build strong relationships, foster trust, and drive long-term success. In this article, we'll explore stakeholder impact examples and best practices for managing stakeholder relationships effectively.

What is Stakeholder Impact?

Stakeholder impact refers to the effects an organization's actions, decisions, or policies have on its stakeholders. It's a way of evaluating the impact of an organization's activities on the people, groups, and organizations that are affected by its operations. Companies must consider the interests of all stakeholders when making decisions, as the impact of their actions can have a significant effect on the company's long-term success.

Importance of Stakeholder Impact Assessment

Stakeholder impact assessment is critical for organizations as it provides a systematic approach to identifying, analyzing, and managing the impact of their activities on stakeholders. It enables companies to understand the potential consequences of their actions and make informed decisions that balance the needs and interests of all stakeholders. This can help companies build and maintain strong relationships, foster trust, and promote long-term success.

Stakeholder Impact Examples

To better understand the concept of stakeholder impact, let's explore some real-world examples:

  • Environmental impact – Companies must consider the impact of their operations on the environment and work to minimize their carbon footprint. For example, a company may invest in renewable energy sources, recycle waste, and implement sustainable practices to reduce its impact on the environment.
  • Employee impact – Companies must consider the impact of their decisions on their employees. For example, a company may offer flexible work arrangements, provide training and development opportunities, and offer competitive compensation packages to attract and retain employees.
  • Customer impact – Companies must consider the impact of their decisions on their customers. For example, a company may invest in customer service, offer fair and transparent pricing, and provide high-quality products and services to meet customer needs.
  • Supplier impact – Companies must consider the impact of their decisions on their suppliers. For example, a company may work with suppliers to reduce waste, improve sustainability, and promote ethical business practices.
  • Shareholder impact – Companies must consider the impact of their decisions on their shareholders. For example, a company may implement effective corporate governance practices, provide transparent and accurate financial reporting, and maintain a strong balance sheet to promote long-term shareholder value.

Best Practices for Effective Stakeholder Management

Now that we've explored stakeholder impact examples let's discuss best practices for effective stakeholder management:

  • Identify all stakeholders – It's essential to identify all stakeholders and understand their interests, needs, and expectations. This can be achieved through stakeholder mapping and analysis.
  • Engage stakeholders regularly – Companies must engage stakeholders regularly to build and maintain strong relationships. This can be achieved through regular communication, consultation, and collaboration.
  • Foster transparency and trust – Companies must be transparent and honest in their dealings with stakeholders and work to foster trust. This can be achieved through clear and effective communication, ethical business practices, and consistent delivery of high-quality products and services.
  • Manage stakeholder expectations – Companies must manage stakeholder expectations by setting realistic goals, establishing clear lines of communication, and ensuring stakeholders are informed of changes and updates.
  • Continuously monitor and evaluate – Companies must continuously monitor and evaluate their impact on stakeholders and make adjustments as needed. This can be achieved through regular stakeholder impact assessments, monitoring customer feedback, and engaging employees in continuous improvement initiatives.

Embrace sustainability and responsibility – Companies must embrace sustainability and responsibility by minimizing their impact on the environment and promoting ethical business practices. This can be achieved through investment in renewable energy sources, recycling programs, and other sustainability initiatives.

Invest in stakeholder engagement – Companies must invest in stakeholder engagement by providing training and development opportunities, fostering a positive work environment, and promoting diversity and inclusion.

Foster collaboration and partnerships – Companies must foster collaboration and partnerships with stakeholders to promote mutual success. This can be achieved through regular communication and consultation, joint ventures, and strategic alliances.

Five Dimension of Impact

A stakeholder impact analysis can be conducted at a variety of times throughout the life of an intervention. At the outset, such an analysis serves to support the feasibility testing and initial design. During and post-intervention these analyses serve to assess the impacts created and eventually how to improve the intervention design.

According to the Impact Management Project, five key dimensions of impact should be taken into account in any stakeholder-centered analysis (seen below).


five dimensions of impact

Effective Stakeholder Survey 

Stakeholder Analysis is critical for understanding Impact Outcomes. Building a useful stakeholder survey is difficult and a must. What is Social Impact? As a mission-driven organization, how do I understand my Social Impact? How can I manage social Impact effectively?

To understand any impact on people or the planet, data is needed across five dimensions of Impact. The following article will discuss how you can build an impact evidence-based due diligence survey that aligns with five dimensions of Impact based on the Impact Management Project and Lean Data approach from 60 Decibel. This approach is relatively new and provides a great start if you begin to establish an impact measurement process for your projects. According to the impact management project, to effectively measure and understand the Impact, data needs to be collected across all five dimensions.

Learn Step By Step Example 

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Qualitative vs. quantitative analysis of stakeholders

It is important to distinguish between the two main types of analyses available to impact practitioners. A quantitative analysis takes raw numbers and calculates outputs, determines probabilities or percentages, and enables practitioners to make inferences based on those results. A qualitative analysis primarily takes data from subjective self-reporting of stakeholders and uses various methods to extract insights.

A breakdown of the different data types can be seen below, taken from a recent report on using self-reported data:

social value international stakeholder report types of data

When to use a quantitative vs. qualitative evaluation

A quantitative approach is best used when specific, precise, and easily obtainable information can be collected from a stakeholder group, for analyses that seek to compare between time periods (for example, before and after) or between groups (for example, an experimental and control), quantitative approaches are often the most useful. Also, in evaluating outputs and frequency of activities, a quantitative approach is usually the most feasible.

A qualitative evaluation assesses contextual factors, usually from the subjective view of primary stakeholders themselves. Qualitative approaches take into account how such individuals evaluate their own experiences and potential impacts perceived. This approach is best used when the objective of the evaluation is to assess the needs, desires, and expectations of a group and how they feel about the impacts generated.

StakeholderImpact Analysis  Template

While there is no one way to conduct a stakeholder analysis, there are, of course, best practices to be followed and common tools that can be used to get the most out of the time invested.

For a useful introduction to the processes involved in raising stakeholders' voices and how to do so effectively, we recommend reviewing “Using IRIS+ to Incorporate Stakeholder Voice,” a report published by the Global Impact Investing Network (which takes the investor engagement perspective). But it will also help general impact practitioners in any role, especially those wishing to dive further into the world of standardized metrics (IRIS+), which can be essential in various types of analyses of stakeholders.

iris+ stakeholder voice report

Here are a few of the key takeaways of the report to get you started effectively incorporating stakeholder's voice:

Stakeholder voice organization 

If you are looking to dive deeper into the topic for your research or for expert consulting or exploring collaboration opportunities, the following organizations maintain stakeholder voice as a key principle of their work.

Feedback Labs

 Feedback LabsEssential to raising stakeholders' voices is making sure that in addition to opening up that conversation with them,     organizations also analyze those data and put insights to work to create better interventions and, ultimately, better outcomes.     That process is exactly what the non-profit organization Feedback Labs seeks to foster across the social sector. Founded in     2013, Feedback Labs works to create standardized metrics that assess how organizations conduct feedback-related work. They also promote the development of tools, training, and events to strengthen the field further.

Social Value International

seven principles of social value

Social Value International brings together a global community (45 countries) of impact practitioners to promote better practices in social value measurement and analysis and to influence policy. Its driving goal is to improve the way we account for social value. As part of their knowledge-sharing approach, they developed seven guiding principles of social value, the first of which is defined as “Involving Stakeholders.”

This, as the first principle, underscores the importance of stakeholder engagement in the social value measurement process. As discussed above, primary stakeholders must be involved in, or at the very least informed about, what is getting measured and how.

Keystone Accountability


The Keystone team are experts in everything to do with managing feedback and getting the most out of those interactions with constituents. In addition to consulting services, they offer analyses of your existing measurement systems, diversity programs, and more. Their Constituent Voice tool can help organizations get the most out of those feedback data, and the Feedback Commons provides tutorials to help practitioners improve how they manage those processes. You can find their full page of resources and guides here.

60 Decibels


A social enterprise created by Acumen and based on its Lean Data approach, 60 Decibels aims to improve adoption of Lean Data approaches across sectors and introduce what they hope will be the new standard for impact measurement across sectors. This standard puts stakeholder voices at the forefront of the measurement process, emphasizing the importance of a beneficiary’s “lived experience.” The enterprise seeks to solve impact measurement issues (comparability, for example) faced by the impact investing sector and improve outcomes through better measurement that is ultimately stakeholder-centric.

Scaling by continuous learning and improvement

Can we build a healthier, more equitable world by frequently looking back on our programs? Alternatively, we understand and improve while serving. Unless you actively learn and manage social change, it isn't easy to scale. We often focus on social return on investment to justify the program's social and financial benefit and its effectiveness. Impact justification is not the continuous learning of Real Social Impact. Big questions everyone is faced today are,

  1. How can I demonstrate the social impact?
  2. How do I know that I measure the right social impact?
  3. How can I scale the social impact?

Join us for the discussion of challenges and solutions to scaling impact.

Stakeholder impact is a critical aspect of modern business that companies must consider in order to achieve long-term success. By understanding the impact of their actions on all stakeholders, companies can build strong relationships, foster trust, and drive long-term success. Effective stakeholder management involves identifying all stakeholders, engaging them regularly, fostering transparency and trust, managing expectations, continuously monitoring and evaluating, embracing sustainability and responsibility, investing in stakeholder engagement, and fostering collaboration and partnerships. By implementing these best practices, companies can ensure that their impact on stakeholders is positive and sustainable.


Social impact analysis is a critical tool for businesses and organizations to understand the impact they are having on the wider community. By conducting a thorough analysis and engaging with the community, organizations can drive positive change and build positive relationships with the community. Whether you're a business owner or an organization leader, it's essential to understand the significance of social impact analysis, and to make it a key part of your operations.