Common Approach to Impact Measurement

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How can we better measure the impact of social purpose organizations in Canada?

Common approach logoThe Common Approach to Impact Measurement is a community-owned, flexible impact measurement standard that can be used by social purpose organizations to more effectively tell their impact story.

Housed at Carleton University, the Common Approach is being built on cutting-edge, globally-recognized impact measurement research and the collaborative efforts of non-profits, social purpose organizations, grantmakers, investors, and academics. The aim is to build a flexible framework that makes it possible to share impact data across organizations, across provinces, and across the country.

The Common Approach is built on the following five key elements:

Want to know more? You can:

Five Common Foundations

The Common Approach to Impact Measurement is being implementFive Common Foundation iconsed in the social innovation sector by impact-oriented evaluators, consultants, and trainers who reflect five essential practices or “Common Foundations”:

  • Plan your intended change
  • Use performance measures 
  • Collect useful information
  • Gauge performance and impact
  • Report on results

A sixth essential practice is to involve key stakeholders in all practices, as they are central to understanding and describing impact well.

These Common Foundations constitute a minimum standard for carrying out impact measurement. They mirror the practices described in a range of the other leading impact measurement models. As such, they provide guidance for organizations just beginning to measure their impact as much as they help evaluators, consultants and trainers fine-tune and expand impact measurement in more experienced organizations.

Looking for Evaluators, Consultants and Trainers Using the Common Foundations

Eupraxia Training (Winnipeg) has been engaged by CCEDNet to invite Canadian evaluators, consultants, and trainers whose work reflects the Common Foundations to be part of this exciting initiative. There is also an opportunity for a number of these impact evaluators, consultants or trainers to be highlighted by the project during the coming months if their work aligns with the Common Approach’s five Common Foundations.

All aligned impact evaluators, consultants, and trainers are invited to use the Common Approach logo and the Common Foundations icons on their website and promotional materials, which would signal to others in the field that they are leading the growing Common Approach community of practice across the country.

If you have any questions, please email Margerit Roger at margerit at or Kirsten Earl McCorrister at kirsten at

Become a Common Foundations Champion

If your work aligns with the Common Foundations, you can use the logos and icons in your resources!  All you need to do is participate in a webinar and complete the self-assessment survey to make sure your work aligns with the Common Foundations. After you complete the survey, you will be contacted about integrating the logos and icons. 

A few practitioners will be highlighted as Common Foundations “champions” by CCEDNet during 2020 to demonstrate how the Common Foundations can be used with clients and within organizations to measure the impact of social innovations.

If you’re interested in becoming a Common Foundations Champion, you can register for an upcoming webinar and take a self-assessment survey to see how your work lines up with the Common Foundations.  

Watch the Webinar - Common Foundations for Impact Professionals

You can find out more about the Common Approach and the Common Foundations by watching this webinar, in which Margerit Roger explains how the Common Foundations can help evaluators, consultants, and trainers guide organizations to improved impact measurement. You’ll also find out about the national initiative to identify and highlight Common Foundations “champions” who are willing to actively promote the five essential practices in the social purpose sector.

Common Foundations: Learning Packages

Learn about the Common Foundations of Impact measurement and take away practical insights into planning, measuring, and communicating your impact. There are two ways to learn. 


Learn quickly with interactive, video-based training, completed online at the pace, location and time of your choosing. Get the full e-learning package, which includes unlimited access to all 5 online courses, together with exclusive downloadable templates and worksheets, plus an array of relevant examples, reading and further resources.

  • Course 1: Plan Your Intended Change
  • Course 2: Use Performance Measures
  • Course 3: Collect Useful Information
  • Course 4: Gauge Performance and Impact
  • Course 5: Report on Results

Watch a short overview of the content of each course here.

Simply email quoting the code CFDIGITAL001 to register interest in access to the digital learning package.


Deepen your experience with a virtual, group-based program where you will learn among a supportive group of peers and work to apply the learning in our organization.

This program is delivered over 12 weeks through a combination of facilitator-guided webinars, video conferencing and access to e-learning, and includes:

  • An introductory Masterclass on the Common Foundations
  • Access to the full package of on-demand elearning courses
  • Five supported peer-based sessions to support your learning
  • Access to additional personalized advice, content and resources

Just email quoting the code CFPEER002 to register interest in participation in the next scheduled program.

Resources for Impact-Oriented Evaluators, Consultants and Trainers

Over time, this website will provide evaluators, consultants, and trainers with information and updates about the Common Approach and about the Common Foundations champions. You will get access to handouts that you can use in the development and implementation of impact measurement strategies. You will also be introduced to other impact-oriented evaluators, consultants, and trainers who work across Canada.