Standards are communities, not documents.
The Common Approach is a set of four impact measurement standards that are created for – and governed by – social purpose organizations. This is an inclusive approach to building a standard.
Standards are communities, not documents.
We believe that a standard is a community more than a document. To create a standard, a community must create documents, but it is the community, not the documents that will sustain over time. A standard becomes strong and effective by focusing on building community, not by focusing on building documents.
To create a community we are committed to creating mutli-stakeholder participation that is inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible.
- We commit to being accountable to all stakeholders through transparent and reliable communications allowing for broad input to ensure relevance and feasibility of adoption.
- We commit to scalling in an inclusive way, so people and organizations know they are making a difference.
- We create processes that are designed to be inclusive, diverse, equitable, and accessible.
- We recognize that processes must be proportional to the capacity and resources that the Common Approach has; we will work to secure the resources for a resilient, inclusive initiative.
- In allowing for complexity and moving at the pace of trust and adoption, we will seek to have a balance between centralized and distributed decision making that achieves our goals while holding strategies for longer-term impact.
We do this through our goverannce structure, Action Tables, and our engagements with social purpose organizations (such as webinars, surveys and reserach).
Many people have come together to support the development of the Common Approach.
The initial community-driven processes are nearing completion
Meet our Community
Executive Director of the Chantier de l’économie sociale
Chantier de l’économie sociale, an independent organisation that brings together actors and partners of the social economy, in order to promote collective entrepreneurship and develop new sectors and tools able to support the emergence of this development model. A privileged interlocutor of the Quebec government in matters of social economy, the Chantier is also recognized internationally for its work to develop an ecosystem to enable the development of the social economy. For several years, Mrs. Alain has been particularly interested in the means and strategies to facilitate dialogue and ultimately the collective action of stakeholders from different sectors and different territories in order to reinforce the development of the social economy. Mrs. Alain, who has a background in economics and political science, is also copresident of the TIESS, an organisation that enables the liaison and transfer of social innovations in the social economy that contribute to territorial development in Quebec, as well as Secretary of the Board of the Chantier de l’économie Trust, a patient-capital fund for social economy enterprises.
Executive Director of EcoEquitable
Anouk has worked in social enterprises, non-profits, and sustainability for the past 15 years. She loves to tackle complex problems with system thinking to tease out new win-win solutions. Anouk is currently the Executive Director of EcoEquitable, a female-centric organization that works primarily with vulnerable and visible minority women. EcoEquitable is the recipient of the United Way’s 2018 Community Builder of Year Award in the category of Poverty to Possibility and the 2019 Best Performance in Social Entrepreneurship by the Best of Ottawa Business Awards. Anouk is currently a member of the National Advisory Board for Common Approach to Impact Measurement, a national project that seeks to create common indicators for charities and purpose-based organizations to use in their work. She is a member of Buy Social’s SUPER Advisory Committee on recommendations for social enterprises wanting to bring their goods to market. She has been interviewed by Social Shifters, Canada’s community for Social Entrepreneurs. Anouk holds an MBA in Sustainable Business. Anouk is bilingual in French and English and identifies as she/her. Read her thoughts on social enterprise on the Pro-Co Cooperative Blog.
Program Officer with J. W. McConnell Family Foundation
Jacob has been with the McConnell Foundation since 2014. His work is focused on the Innoweave initiative, which has a number of coaching streams designed to help community organizations clarify their outcomes and obtain the support they need to become capable of achieving those outcomes. The newest stream, Impact Measurement, is fully launching in November 2020.
Canadian Chapter of the Catholic Impact Investment Collaborative Lead
Jason Anthony Dudek is a successful entrepreneur and impact investor who has brought award-wining ventures from inception to scale, and holds an MSc from the London School of Economics (UK). Jason believes strongly in the intersection between environmental/social value and investment performance, and has become a recognized leader in Canada’s Impact Investment space. He has investing experience in Canada, the UK, West Africa, USA and the Middle East, and previously chaired the board and investment committee of one of Canada’s most respected philanthropic foundations, the Catherine Donnelly Foundation. Jason also gained international recognition for an impact agri-business he co-founded which helps West African smallholders grow using climate-smart agricultural practices, and which won the 2014 Canadian Social Finance Awards. Jason currently leads the Canadian Chapter of the Catholic Impact Investment Collaborative, and is deeply moved by the substance and universalism of the Common Approach.
Dr. Javaid Hayat
Action for Healthy Communities
Dr. Javaid Hayat is a management and strategic professional with vast experience in various leadership roles in Asia, Europe and in Canada in the non-profit sector. He is skilled in program development & management, monitoring & evaluation, research & analysis, and community capacity building. Currently, he is working with Action for Healthy Communities, Edmonton, Alberta.
Executive Director at Furniture Bank
Dan Kershaw is Executive Director at Furniture Bank, one of Canada’s leading examples of an integrated social enterprise charity. The charity creates homes from housing through the reuse, and redistribution of unwanted furniture and home goods for thousands of families per year. Measuring the social, economic and environmental impact of ending furniture poverty across Canada.
CEO of Ajah, and Director of Powered by Data
Michael Lenczner works in the areas of nonprofit information management and open government and is currently the CEO of Ajah, and Director of Powered by Data, a nonprofit initiative on the MakeWay shared platform. He is a frequent collaborator on academic-community research partnerships and serves on several nonprofit boards and advisory groups related to technology, democracy, and civil society. Since 2018, he has been a Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Administration of Carleton University.
Executive Director Opera.ca
With a 20 year career encompassing senior roles in ballet, dance and opera, Christina has led Opera.ca as Executive Director since 2009 with a deep care agenda focussed on helping the sector build resilience, navigate change, and be a positive force for civic good. Recognized for her innovative thinking, collaborative leadership and cross-sectoral approach, she has launched new initiatives and programming for the opera sector in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship and lean start up principles, and evaluating impact.
Most recently, she has led the development of a unique Civic Impact Framework for Opera in Canada to be released this fall, a powerful new tool for evaluating, measuring and amplifying the social impact of opera in communities across Canada.
Evaluation expert and a knowledge broker
Lynda Rey is an evaluation expert and a knowledge broker. She is passionate about combining scientific knowledge and evaluation approaches to improve management practices and public policies, and drive transformative change. Her research and consulting areas of interest include social innovation, multi-actor partnerships, and evaluation capacity building. In the past 5 years, she has carried out several mandates in strategic planning, performance measurement and evaluation, at local and global levels, with public, philanthropic and community organizations. Lynda was the Director of Evaluation and Learning at the Montreal-based “One Drop Foundation” that strives to achieve sustainable access to drinking water in Central America, Africa and India.
In 2018, Lynda was appointed as Professor of Program Evaluation at the Ecole Nationale d’Administration Publique in Montreal. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Health and a postgraduate degree in Analysis and Evaluation of Health Interventions, both from the University of Montreal. Prior to her Ph.D. she completed a Master’s degree in Development Policies and Humanitarian Action at the Sorbonne University in Paris, and a Master’s degree in Political Science at the Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po) in Aix-en-Provence, France.
She serves on the editorial advisory board of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, and is a member of both the Canadian and Quebec Evaluation Societies. Finally she is a member of the Order of Chartered Administrators of Quebec.
RBC Corporate Citizenship Impact Measurement practice Lead
Mike Ronchka believes in using data to unlock the potential of people and organizations. He leads the RBC Corporate Citizenship team’s Impact Measurement practice, and has a decade of experience in data analytics, change management and communications. In his current role he brings the RBC Impact Measurement Framework to life by illustrating the Social, Environment, Economic, Employee, Brand and Business impacts of enterprise programs and initiatives.
Mike works closely with the Citizenship team and RBC’s charitable partners on leveraging data analytics to identify actionable insights, developing KPIs that drive continuous improvement and enabling compelling communications about RBC’s social impact.
He is responsible for developing and deploying the RBC Future Launch dashboard which is used by more than 130 non-profits in Canada to assess program effectiveness in preparing youth for the future of work. The dashboard puts powerful and intuitive data analysis capabilities in the hands of RBC’s charitable partners, enabling them to monitor results in real time and benchmark against peers.
Interim Executive Director of the Common Approach
Kate is the interim Executive Director of the Common Approach. She is passionate about flexible standards that give voice to the people whose lives are most affected by organizations’ impact. She has a PhD in Accounting from Schulich School of Business, York University and a MSc in Social Policy and Planning from the London School of Economics. She is also an Assistant Professor at the Sprott School of Business and Co-Director of the Carleton Centre for Community Innovation.
Consultant, Learning & Evaluation at Vancity Community Foundation
Bryn Sadownik has been involved in impact measurement and cost-effectiveness analysis for over 20 years leading projects for government, private sector and non-profit organizations. Accomplishments include receiving the Canadian Policy Research Award and leading the Demonstrating Value Initiative (dvtools.org). She currently holds the position of Consultant, Learning & Evaluation at Vancity Community Foundation.
Co-Founder and CEO at RIDDL
Jenelle is a co-founder and CEO at RIDDL, a software that tracks, manages and measures ESGs, impact investments and quantifies returns. Jenelle hosts the podcast Good Done Well for Riddl.
Partner and former Managing Partner of Code + Mortar (norex.ca), an interactive web and invention firm, globally recognized by the Webby’s (the Oscars of the web). Code + Mortar was acquired by Revolve Marketing in 2020.
Jenelle was recognized as the National Emerging Leader in ICT by Women in Communications and Technology (2017), awarded STFX’s Young Alumna of the Year (2017), received Digital Nova Scotia’s Power IT Up Next generation Award (2016), recognized as one of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce’s Change Agents of the Year (2015).
Jenelle taught social innovation at UNB (2019). Jenelle holds a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation, University of Waterloo (2014), Masters of Arts in Political Science, UNB (2011).
Impact Investment Manager at Vancity Credit Union
Heather Tanaka is Impact Investment Manager at Vancity Credit Union. Her includes managing a Fund-of-Funds that invests in high impact VC funds in sectors that include affordable housing, sustainable food and agriculture, advanced materials, life sciences, Indigenous entrepreneurship, women-led ventures, climate tech, health and wellness tech, and cooperatives. She is also responsible for the Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) of the portfolio. Heather has a Bachelor of Commerce from University of Victoria and an MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University.
Executive Director The Canadian CED Network
Mike Toye has been a consultant on community economic development and the social economy, a social entrepreneur, author, lecturer, researcher and a Policy Analyst for the Library of Parliament. He has been involved with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network since 2000, and been Executive Director since 2008.
Common Foundations Champions
Margerit works as a program planner, evaluator and trainer in the social purpose sector to highlight the critical role of service-providing organizations in addressing social challenges. Deeply influenced by her experiences with adult literacy learners, newcomers,...
As the Social Enterprise Program Manager & Coach at Pillar Nonprofit Network Rachel is part of the Libro Social Enterprise Incubator and Women of Ontario Social Enterprise Network. Rachel is a storyteller at heart. Prior to Pillar, she worked with B Lab and made...
Kerri worked for almost 15 years in non-profit and government organizations that were seeking ways to effect change. She worked in roles where she both sought funds and granted funds, which allowed her to see both sides of the evaluation process. Together with four...
Cathy is a program designer, researcher, strategic planner, business developer, and non-profit sector-builder. She has coached numerous social enterprises in designing and testing their social value propositions. She began her career as a social worker with a strong...
Laurie spent much of her early career as a researcher. About ten years ago she applied for a position at Seattle King County Public Health as an evaluator and the 'light went on and she made the shift from researcher to impact evaluator. In 2015, she started Change...
Fifteen years ago, Bryn was applying skills developed through her Master’s program in Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University (SFU) to work as a consultant and researcher. When the opportunity to lead a new pilot program in impact assessment...
The Social Enterprise Institute offers two courses – the Common Foundations of Impact Measurement, a six-part introductory video series (free), and a comprehensive online course ($350), designed for social purpose organizations that are serious about social impact...
Garth has a degree in communication and community economic development and worked passionately with environmental non-profits and university students’ unions through the early 2000s. Garth now uses that expertise to guide his work at Junxion Strategy, to engage with...
Common Foundations Leadership
The initial articulation of the Common Foundations benefited from the following organizations.
Common Impact Data Standard Leadership
This work is being done in collaboration with Professor Mark Fox at the Centre for Social Services Engineering at the University of Toronto.
Social Funders Advisory Board
They are reviewing and testing the Common Approach standards to make sure they meet their criteria for due diligence, grant applications and impact evaluation.
National Social Purpose Organizations Advisory Committee
The Committee is providing feedback and advice to the Common Approach, contributing to building a standard of impact measurement in Canada.
Our Supporting Partners
The Common Approach to Impact Measurement is funded by Employment and Social Development Canada by the Government of Canada . The Common Approach is part of the Government of Canada’s Investment Readiness Program.
Social enterprises and investors want to move forward with better impact measurement but they want to move forward together. The Common Approach is about building the community that will advance impact measurement together.
Join the Common Approach Community
The story so far
The Common Approach is an evolving story about the growing impact measurement community.
For the standard to grow, people and organizations need to be able to demonstrate that they are using the Common Approach. Social purpose organizations aligning with all five practices, trainers and consultants, developers can request use of the identifier.
Bryn Sadownik (Vancity) and Rachel Berdan (Pillar) are Common Approach Champions who are including the Common Approach in their capacity building work.
Meet consultants Cathy Lang, Kerri Klein, Laurie Ringaert, and Garth Yule. They have incorporated Common Foundations into their work with social purpose organizations.