The Skoll Foundation launched this week a pilot of the Pulse system for measuring social impact. Pulse has been developed by Acumen Fund and Salesforce.com, with the support of Exponent Partners and funding from Skoll, the Lodestar Foundation and others. The aim of Pulse is to provide a consistent, systematic way to measure social impact across different types of social change activities. Other organizations involved in the pilot project include Root Capital, Agora Partnerships, IFMR Trust (India), LGT Group (Europe), d.o.b. foundation (Europe) and the Kellogg Foundation
Pulse is designed to track financial, operational, social and environmental metrics, and features a range of qualitative reporting to complement quantitative performance management data. It will allow organizations to aggregate and benchmark financial, operating, social and environmental performance metrics at the portfolio and sector level, allowing for meaningful comparisons of performance against a relevant peer group. Given the widely different activities and organizations that make up the social sector, Pulse delivers a user-driven, flexible approach to standard metrics: users define what they want to measure and how, while retaining the ability to share/adopt metrics across organizations in a way that makes comparisons valid.
The ultimate goal of Pulse is to serve as a scalable and secure system for broad adoption across the social change sector. We’ll report back on progress with our pilot program over time.