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Community Impact Outcomes - Overview

Page history last edited by Robert Hackett 5 years, 8 months ago

Front Page / Assessment / Community Impact Outcomes / Overview


Community Impact Outcomes

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download


Both Bonner Programs and campus-wide centers for community engagement tend to work on a variety of issue areas and community projects, including: education, mentoring, increasing college access, family services, addressing hunger and homelessness, affordable housing, community economic development, poverty alleviation, violence prevention, etc. Developing community impact strategies and measures, then, is challenging. To do this well, independent nonprofits often adopt a specific issue focus, set of goals, and set of measures that match them. This is also called having a "theory of change" or a logic model for a program. 


Given the wide array of topics, however, one thing that cuts across the nonprofit and governmental organizations with which both Bonner Programs and campuses generally work is the need to build and sustain their organizational and program capacity. In that light, the Bonner Foundation has adopted a focus on capacity building outcomes that are pertinent to most, if not all, nonprofit and governmental organizations that are partners to our Bonner Programs and institutions. 


These capacity building areas also draw from years of program development and management, including metrics articulated by the Corporation for National and Community Service. CNCS has provided and continues to give funding and support to thousands of civic engagement and service programs through AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps VISTA, and Senior Corps. The focus areas were developed in collaboration with a lengthy strategic planning process undertaken by the Corporation. The Bonner Foundation then used this information to develop the Capacity Building focus and form which is now in place across all Bonner Programs and campuses. 


Achievement Areas fall into three areas: (1) Efficiency / Efficacy; (2) Scale / Reach and (3) Leverage. These are defined as:


  • Efficiency / EfficacyImproved outcomes with the same level of resources or improved or consistent quality of services with fewer resources;
  • Scale/ReachNumber of new people served, new populations served, and/or new or expanded services;
  • LeverageAdditional resources or assets garnered through capacity-building activities such as funding, volunteers, in-kind support, and partnerships.


When a Bonner Program works in partnership with a school, agency, or organization, this then enables the development and tracking of projects that build organizational and nonprofit capacity, such as in the following areas:


  • Volunteer Generation/Recruitment and Management: Establish and expand volunteers (students, staff, faculty) to assist with service or program delivery.  
  • Program Coordination and Management: Develop and manage policies, training, programs, volunteers, and/or internal communications. 
  • Program Development: Build or enhance systems for organizational / program efficiency and effectiveness. 
  • Training or Curriculum Development: Research, write and implement training or curricular for programs.
  • Organizational Development: Build or enhance systems for organizational efficiency and effectiveness, scale/reach, and leverage. 
  • Community AssessmentComplete environmental scan of community context, needs and assets.  
  • Research: Collaborate in projects to carry out research and academic work that builds community or organizational knowledge needed to address problems or enhance service delivery (i.e., grant research, program quality evaluations, constituent research, etc.) 
  • Resource Generation: Work on expanding or enhancing sustainable and/or diversified funding and resource stream (i.e., donor research, grant writing, fundraising, even development, etc.)
  • Communications and Marketing: Work on projects that enhance the reach, visibility, and sustainability of community programs (i.e., social media, marketing plans, newsletters, etc.)


This section covers some strategies that all Bonner Programs and centers can begin to implement to count and measure capacity building and community impact. In the Community Impact Outcomes - Guides area, you will also find some more advanced strategies that may be undertaken by specific programs (focusing on an issue, perhaps in partnership with other nonprofits).