Impact Management Toolbox

January 24, 2022

This toolbox helps you plan, implement and communicate the positive changes that you aim to create with your initiative or organisation in the lives of young people.

What? A combination of nine tools especially developed for planning, measuring and increasing positive impacts of the organisations and reducing any negative effects of their activities.

For whom? For you. If you are active in an organisation that works with and for the young people. For example, youth associations aiming to develop their members or social enterprises providing services to youngsters.

What if I don’t work with young people? The tools will be absolutely suitable for designing and measuring the impact of your activities too! However, all the examples in this toolbox are related to young people as they are the main target group here.

By whom? Top organisations developing social impact measurement, youth field and social entrepreneurship in the Baltic States. For more information, see below.

Who financed? The project “BALTIC: YOUTH: IMPACT” has been co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.

With the help of this toolbox, you can be even more successful in your activities!

If you are reading this, you are probably active in an organisation that aims to create a positive impact in the lives of young people. 

Perhaps you want to unleash the creative potential of youngsters… or help young people who have had lesser opportunities compared with their peers…. or provide valuable knowledge and skills to the members of a youth organisation. 

The toolbox has been designed to help you plan, do, measure, improve your activities… and repeat! In other words – you will be able to create a more positive impact with your activities. 

You will have more clarity and make better choices

Also, you will be more effective in involving your team and explaining your work outside the organisation

In conclusion, you will be able to leave a legacy that you can be proud of!

Feel free to try out and use just one, several or even all of the tools!

You can take an ambitious journey covering all the tools to get your organisation’s impact management to a new much higher level. In that case, start from the problem tree, then move on to the next tools and complete your development process with the organisational model canvas. 

Alternatively, you can choose a tool that seems to match your current needs the best. For example, if you feel that you need to understand better how to attract young people and keep them involved at different stages of your activities to achieve a bigger impact, you should start with filling in the beneficiary journey map. 

You can find brief descriptions of each of the tools in the toolbox here.

How this toolbox has been created?

The toolbox has been developed based on its creators´ experience of what is needed to increase the positive impact of the organisations that work with young people. 

The Erasmus+ project “BALTIC: YOUTH: IMPACT” enabled the top organisations developing social impact measurement, youth field and social entrepreneurship in the Baltic States to come together and create this toolbox. The lead partner in developing the tools was Stories For Impact while all the other partners contributed with their ideas and experiences, including the testing of the tools.

We have taken into account:

  • the previous materials developed by other experts for the same or similar purposes, 
  • our project partners´ own practical experience of training and consulting the youth organisations. 

The exact structure and design of the tools have been created specifically within the project “BALTIC: YOUTH: IMPACT” as a result of testing the preceding tools and developing them further. Usually, we developed the earlier tools by simplifying these to make it easier for you to try out and use them.

What about the sources of impact planning and measurement tools?

Many of the tools included in this Toolbox have been in use already for a few decades. For example, UNDP´s publication “Handbook on Planning, Monitoring and Evaluating for Development Results” introduced a problem tree – the very first tool in our Toolbox – to global audiences already in 2009. The theory of change tool was invented and promoted even earlier, in the 1990s. So far, among the best compilations of these tools is a handbook “Maximise Your Impact – A Guide for Social Entrepreneurs” (2017). 

As the mentioned tools have become common knowledge among the professionals who practice impact measurement and service design, no specific additional references have been made (with a few exceptions) within the toolbox.  

We have combined different versions of the tools and developed them into formats that we think are super useful. You are welcome to take these tools, develop them further and share the results with others too.

What about the sources of service design tools?

Service design is a process for creating experiences and solutions that work for the customers and other people involved. 

It’s a human-centred approach with an end goal of suiting all users’ needs while keeping in mind the big picture. The authors of “This is Service Design Thinking” have stated five key principles that should be followed for good service design: user-centred, co-creative, sequencing, evidencing and holistic.

Many different tools have been developed to bring the idea of service design into reality. They have been modified and perfected over the years, so it’s hard to point out an author for each tool. Therefore, it is generally agreed that they don’t need to be credited. 

You can find a wide range of service design tools on this link but they can be a bit too generic for your specific purposes. So, we have picked out a “Stakeholder Map” and “Beneficiary Journey Map” and will walk you through them in a way that’s most beneficial for youth organizations. Service design for you can be different from that of for-profit companies that these tools were initially created for.

What about the source of the Organisational Model Canvas tool?

Another commonly used framework that we have modified further is the business model canvas – originally a tool with nine boxes for developing new business models, as well as analyzing existing ones. 

The framework was first introduced by Alexander Osterwalder in 2005, published in a book by him in 2008 and altered by different authors ever since. 

We’ve modified developed it into a tool called “Organisational Model Canvas” so that its brilliantly useful approach could also be successfully used by a youth organization or a social enterprise.

Impact Management Toolbox has been prepared and tested by: