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March 9, 2015

Soft skills and hard data

Executive Director’s note from Issue 11, March 2015.

Olivia Hilton

In an increasingly competitive environment, the social purpose sector has to become more efficient and effective; the community needs and expects it. Building organisational capabilities, in areas including financial management, leadership development, and impact measurement are key priorities in this environment.

In our work we see three factors that influence how well organisations can adapt to competitive pressures and improve their impact: lack of relevant management skills, scarcity of resources (people, funds and data), and conflict between organisational objectives and market orientation.

This issue of the SVA Quarterly looks at the importance of getting the fundamentals right – mastering both the soft skills and hard data that will enable your organisation to thrive. We share insights on how to successfully recruit and induct talent from the corporate sector to fill skills gaps; present a case study of an organisation that is investing in staff development and wellbeing to meet their overall mission, and tell the unique story of Kanyirninpa Jukurrpa, a social purpose organisation in the Western Desert that has both understood the skills needed to fulfil its mission and collected and analysed the hard data to improve impact.

We also share our own experiences in what it takes to develop successful venture philanthropy partnerships – a funding model for supporting organisations to build their capability and impact over the long term.

Finally, two articles on social impact data and how advances in technology are changing how we collect, analyse and compare data to make more effective operational and funding decisions. These rapid advances should not be underestimated and are must reads for any organisation thinking of investing in outcomes measurement.
Olivia Hilton
Olivia Hilton
Executive Director, SVA Consulting

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