If you understand the impact you are making you can identify funding opportunities for the type of impact you are already making or understand who is most affected by your programs and activities
However, impact can often be the hardest and most complicated idea to measure. How do you know what someone felt when they saw your painting? How can you tell if the child who saw your play went home and told their parents? How do you find out the way you make people feel?
The truth is sometimes you can't.
But don't let that deter you because you are not alone.
KNOW YOUR IMPACT
Borrow the Stories of the People Around You
Good ways to collect stories:
Have lunch with each of your board members and ask them why they chose to be on your board.
Send out an email to your email list asking what their favorite experience of your art is.
Talk to your volunteers about what value they get from giving their time to your organization.
Pro Tip: Start a Word document, where you keep the stories and refer back to them in the future.
Let the Experts do the Research
These arts organizations offer lists of their research for free.
Pro Tip: In Order to keep from being overwhelmed, chose one link and read one paper you feel is relevant to you. come back when you need a different perspective.
Borrow the Language of Social Science
There are many ways to borrow from social science, but the following three examples are great places to start.
*Examples are not available on mobile*