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What will this tool help me do?

Solutions that scale successfully hit the sweet spot between value, impact, and sustainability. 

In the social impact sector, we tend to prioritise and measure impact but not think enough about ensuring that solutions are valuable and sustainable.

This tool helps you develop a few of the key metrics you need to track to ensure your solution is valued by users and can impact a lot of people sustainably. Using the Critical Metrics Calculator, you can work out some rough numbers for: 

  • The number of constituents in the target audience
  • How many of them are reached and sign up
  • How many complete the programme/intervention/solution and have the intended impact
  • The high-level unit cost per person reached, engaged and impacted 

This helps you define the future metrics you’ll need to hit in order to achieve your goal, and see how close you are to those metrics today. It is intended to complement the Sweet Spot for Scale Tool.



To work on the tool worksheet, follow these steps:

  • Make a copy to your own Google Drive folder: Click file > Make a copy > Entire presentation > Select your personal drive folder, OR
  • Download a copy to your desktop: Click file > Download > Microsoft Excel (or other file type)

Step 1

Make a copy to your own Google Drive folder or
download a copy to your desktop and create your own version of Critical Metrics Calculator.


Step 2

Start with the impact and value calculator. Research or approximate the size of the target constituency.


Step 3

Define your goal. What percentage of the societal problem are you aiming to address? Define the  percentage of those people you hope to reach and impact.


Step 4

Work through the rest of the percentages one by one. You may choose to input the percentages based on your solution’s existing data or play around with the numbers to forecast the percentages needed to meet your goal.

Keep in mind:

In some cases, you may have multiple solutions that contribute to your goal. In other cases, you may have one solution. This calculator is for one solution so this will affect the percentages you input. If your solution is one of many, you will need to determine the percentages relative to other solutions. If you have multiple solutions that contribute to your goal, make a separate calculator for each solution. The total number of people you impact across all of your solutions should add up to your goal.

Step 5

Compare the number of target constituents impacted with your goal. If your current percentages aren’t high enough, you will need to refine and iterate your solution.


Step 6

Move on to the rough cost calculator to assess your sustainability.

Fill out the calculator with your biggest cost drivers (such as salaries and overheads) and avoid focusing on very specific details.

Keep in mind:

The goal is to get to a solution that is scalable and can serve lots and lots of people over time, and in order to do that you likely need to earn back your costs. This calculator helps you estimate a high-level ballpark of the cost for your solution.

Step 7

Given the total cost estimate, consider what percentage of costs needs to be covered by sustainable funding outside of philanthropy. 


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