Nowadays so many people are planning to start their own social enterprises, which is an excellent thing. People are passionate about solving social problems. But in building a social enterprise. Then a person will get to know it’s not a cup of tea for everyone. Therefore, It’s an extreme job to sustain a social enterprise on the basic planning methods. An entrepreneur or a social entrepreneur should sit a place and analyse the plan you created while applying them to establish a successful social venture. To know the success rate of your social startup, I have mentioned a list of points to analyse every single aspect .
1. Test your ideas quickly
– When you start your organization, have proper processes to test your ideas and check the feasibility.
– It’s also very important to get the feedback from your beneficiaries. It would give you an idea about the effectiveness and quality of your programs.
3. Connection with Stakeholders
– It’s important to create a network of stakeholders who can help in your programs (social entrepreneurs, other NGOs, Govt. Bodies, officials, policy makers, etc.)
4. Developing a culture of learning from failure
– It’s unnecessary that you would get success in every program or project. Failures are inevitable, so it’s very important to develop a culture of learning from failures in organization which can help in future projects and programs.
5. Human Centered Design
The biggest challenge to start a nonprofit organization or any social enterprise is funding. For funding you are being required to show the data to funders, to show the impact of your programs. But how to show the data because you don’t have funding to launch the program itself. The solution is human centered design through which one can develop a low-cost technique to test and collect the data.
RESEARCHING BENEFICIARIES’ NEEDS AND DESIRES
Before developing any ideas , first you have to start researching the needs and desires of your beneficiaries. Understand how they think and feel about the problems you are trying to solve. What is the problem and what can be a suitable solution. To answer questions like these, nonprofits interview or survey their beneficiaries. Gathering insights from your beneficiaries—those who will be directly impacted by your solution—is key to designing programs that work. From this research, your team will see the issues beneficiaries are facing and pinpoint which one (s) in particular you want to solve.
CONNECTING WITH YOUR STAKEHOLDERS
Although the human-centered design process requires nonprofits to reach out to their beneficiaries, it doesn’t mean that beneficiaries are the only voices that need to be heard. Especially with complex social issues, there are many stakeholders whose ideas, opinions, and concerns need to listen to as well.
Therefore, it is important to reach out to these stakeholders during the research phase of the human-centered design process.
WHO ARE YOUR STAKEHOLDERS?
Additional stakeholders you may want to consider reaching out to include:
• Government figures — Government figures might have the power to approve or shut down your solution.
• Similar nonprofits — Other nonprofits working on the same or similar issues can share what they’ve learned (successful strategies or pitfalls) with you.
• Businesses — Businesses working with a similar or the same population as you can share information on what users (beneficiaries) need and what they don’t like. This might also be true of businesses that provide a service similar to your nonprofit.
• Scholars and researchers—Academics who have studied the issue you’re tackling or the population you’re serving can sometimes provide a big-picture view of a problem and help you design an approach that will work.
• Activists working on the problem—Activists have the power to not only consult on the problem but also rally others toward or against your solution
When addressing a social problem, nonprofits might be quick to rush to one solution. The answer may seem obvious. However, in reality, some of the best solutions are hardly as obvious as they seem. Finding these difficult solutions requires brainstorming.
Brainstorming is best completed with a team. According to the human-centered design process, brainstorming involves the following steps:
1. Restate the problem you wish to solve.
2. Brainstorm all the solutions to solve that problem. The key here is for each individual to generate ideas quickly and jot them down (typically on Post-It Notes). Your ideas need not be complete or fully formed. The ideas can also be strange—that is all right. During the brainstorming phase, you should be open to all ideas, no matter how strange they sound.
3. Group similar solutions together and write why you grouped them together.
4. Vote on which solutions your team liked most and discuss how the solutions can be modified. By the end of the session, decide on one solution you’d like to test out.
TESTING YOUR PROGRAM
In this last phase, you will use your prototype to create a pilot or test program. This might be a service launched to a few people or a full product deployed to a small group. The goal of this phase is to provide the product or service to beneficiaries and collect their feedback. It is also very important to gather data during this phase. Try to have goals for what you want your product or service to accomplish. Decide how you will measure whether it is a success or not.
Based on the feedback you received from the pilot program and the data you collected, you can change the program and launch a more developed version of the program later. Many organizations repeat this phase several times before they land on a program that achieves the results they are looking for.
Actions: How Can You Do This?
• Once you’re confident in your prototype, you’re ready to create a program to test your idea with actual people. You can start small, but collect data along the way. This includes people’s reactions and data that will show whether your pilot program is accomplishing what you wanted.
• Create an environment where failure is accepted. Sometimes your test program may not work. Take steps to create an environment where “failure” seems as a learning opportunity. When something is unsuccessful, encourage your team to admit that and talk about why that was the case and what can we change.
• Nonprofit leaders can model what it’s like to be open and comfortable sharing. By openly sharing the results of their programs with their staff, they can encourage a discussion around what went wrong, why and what they learned from the experience.
MEASURE YOUR IMPACT
OUTPUT VS OUTCOME
Most of the Non profits focused to show outputs vs outcomes. Outputs are the numbers directly result from an organization’s activities. This might include statistics, such as the number of people using a service, receiving some good, or the number of people attending an event. Although measuring such values is important,
It is not enough to show an impact on a person’s life. Just because someone attends an event doesn’t mean their life has changed.
EXAMPLES OF OUTPUTS
• The number of women attending a workshop to develop their business skills
• The number of farmers who received farming tools to grow their own crops
• The percentage of community members who have heard about a particular nonprofit
EXAMPLES OF OUTCOMES
Outcomes are results or behavioral changes that directly tied to achieving your vision. An organization’s activities can not directly achieve outcomes. For example, measuring the students’ performance on a literacy examination is a result that a nonprofit cannot directly make happen. Such an output is a far more valuable statistic (compared to the number of books being donated) in seeing whether the Indian nonprofit mentioned earlier is increasing students’ literacy skills.
• If a nonprofit’s vision was to create a more politically active community, the number of first-time voters voting in an election might be an outcome
• If a nonprofit’s vision is to help youth to be financially independent, the number of youth in their programs who get jobs might be an outcome
• If a nonprofit’s vision is to create a cleaner environment in their city, the percentage increase in people purchasing recycling bins might be an outcome
• Your Vision—Determine what success looks like for your organization. What is the vision you hope to achieve?
• Your Outcomes—Using that vision, determine what results (outcomes) must occur/ take place to achieve that vision.
• Your Actions—What action or activities can your organization take to help achieve your outcomes?
• Your Outputs—What are the direct, measurable results of your organization’s actions?
To determine what data to collect, start by looking at your outcomes. So far, we’ve kept our outcomes general. However, to create measurable goals your organization can track, outcomes should be S.M.A.R.T:
• S- specific
• M- measurable
• A- attainable
• T- timely
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