Our Framework

To assess the impact of our investments over time, we are developing and refining an impact management practice that helps us understand the success of both our individual investments and total portfolio.

Our Impact Management Process

The following is our process for estimating a potential investment’s impact, monitoring and supporting its performance and likelihood of success, and evaluating its actual impact over time.

01Due Diligence

Impact management begins during the due diligence process, when we score each potential investment’s ability to create transformative impact using our Transformative Impact Grid. After an investment is approved, we move into investment-level impact planning, which includes engaging with an investee to define success and co-create an impact management plan.

02Investment Monitoring

We develop deep and collaborative relationships with many of our investees, serving as a trusted partner that supports them in seeking opportunities and solving problems. And, to more formally monitor progress, investees report to us each year on the success metrics defined in their impact management plans.

03Post-Investment Assessment

At the conclusion of an investment, we analyze results and conduct a post-investment assessment on the change in an investee’s organizational effectiveness and transformative impact. Because many of our investments aim to create systemic change, we often don’t expect to see a change in an organization’s transformative impact until years after our funding period.

04Portfolio-Level Assessment

Progress within our outcome areas is made through a combination of investments and activities that lead to increased impact. Because of this, we have a process to evaluate impact at the portfolio level.

Our Impact Management Tools

Explore the Transformative Impact Grid and other tools we use to inform our impact management process.

Additional Tools

The following tools work alongside the Transformative Impact Grid to help us assess impact at the investment and portfolio levels. Although we recognize that these tools have limitations, we embrace a culture of “learning by doing” and are constantly refining our practice as our investment strategy evolves.

01Theory of Change

GCI’s theory of change drives our investment management practice. Our investment decisions, post-investment activities and how we monitor success are all measured against this strategy.

02Theory of Impact Framework

For each of our outcome areas, we developed theories of impact that provide insight into our short-term strategies for addressing defined problems and our measures of success. We use this framework to evaluate portfolio-level performance, which helps us understand which investments and activities are contributing to our desired future state and where course correction is needed.

03Impact Management Plans

Our impact management plans define the activities our investees commit to executing on and what success looks like at the end of an investment. Investees report on the measurable results of their activities and GCI analyzes the expected versus actual results, providing us the ability to monitor progress toward our goals. In addition to quantitative data, our investees provide additional anecdotal insights and lessons learned. Download a template of our impact management plan.

04Community Outcome Monitoring

We leverage data and analysis from Shift Research Lab to monitor community change over time. By using data to track progress toward our short- and long-term outcomes, we can better understand where positive change is occurring or more investment might be needed.

Impact in Action: Explore Impact Case Studies

Impact Insights