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Impact Calls: Share nonprofit results on an interactive call

by Diane Remin | Thu, 16 Oct 2014

Public companies have earnings calls. Why don't nonprofits have impact calls? 

From Guidestar.org: "GuideStar's Impact Call is a revolutionary idea: to quickly and proactively provide results to constituents and begin a systematic dialogue that encourages data-driven decision making across the sector." Jacob Harold, President and CEO

I learned about Impact Calls when Guidestar's Lindsay Nichols presented at Office Depot Foundation's annual nonprofit conference. (Let it also be said that Guidestar is not just for Form 990's anymore. Check out their other services.)

Impact Calls: What are they?

It takes almost a year for a Form 990 to become publicly available. Impact Calls present an organization's results to the world in a timely way. The idea is to be transparent and invite everyone. In the corporate world, the audience is dominated by shareholders, press, and investment firms. In nonprofit land, we expect to see funders, service recipients, volunteers and press.

Guidestar tested the idea, and, to its surprise, had over 400 participants on its first call, which was hosted on Webex (there are many similar services).

What do you talk about?

  • How you did—financially and programmatically
  • What worked: successes
  • What didn't – and what you learned: failures
  • New developments

Tip: Tell stories, don't just present data.

Why have Impact Calls?

  1. Engage your stakeholders in a dialogue
  2. Promote transparency
  3. Be inclusive – everyone is invited
  4. Take a leadership position
  5. Share knowledge
  6. Let funders know what impact they had
  7. Let funders know what remains to be done
  8. Learn what's on your stakeholders minds
  9. Launch something new
  10. Provide press content

Further engage your constituents with Impact Calls! 

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