Develop strategies to increase your impact
Develop strategies to increase your impact
Social innovators who set out to solve complex social, economic, or environmental challenges often have one great hope—that if their new approaches turn out to be effective, they can be scaled to a larger level and have an even greater impact. Many want to extend their reach or to develop new offerings to complement their existing efforts. Some may want to expand their impact by changing parts of a system.
In reality, Scaling Impact is far more complex than we thought. The process is rarely a linear enterprise in which changemakers finalize the conditions for scaling in one big push. Instead, it is likely to be a relentless, long-term process of adaptation and change. Scaling requires organizations to be serious about learning from both successes and failures, and to have the capacity to build on those insights moving forward.
Each organization needs to find its own unique strategy to achieve its Scaling Impact goals. Developing and implementing a Scaling Impact strategy is a complex process. It is highly context specific, and can be challenging and time consuming. Scaling Impact often requires organizational changes, including new capacities, skills, and resources, as well as different relationships. It may also necessitate a willingness to let go of particular aspects of existing work and/or embrace an entirely new approach.
Depending on which resources you consult, there are a variety of Scaling Impact approaches organizations can employ to amplify their impact (either stand alone or in combination). Some of the most prominent of these include:
Scaling out: Scaling out is the expansion of an existing program and/or its replication and adaptation in different contexts so that it reaches more people or regions, resulting in more beneficiaries. Examples of scaling out include:
Scaling out can also include developing new programs or activities to improve the depth and/or range of outcomes for the same beneficiaries. For example:
Scaling up: Scaling up is influencing a broader system. It often focuses on some of the root causes of problems by directing efforts toward changing the system that created the social or environmental problem. An organization trying to scale up might build on its past program- or organization-level success by working to influence policies, curricula, legislation, regulations, institutions, working relationships and/or the flows of financial resources in order to expand their innovation and/or impact. Scaling up can take many forms. For example:
Scaling deep: Changing the “hearts and minds” of people or the organization, system or community (e.g., in terms of narrative, values, beliefs and identities) so that the idea underlying the social innovation is supported and embedded. Scaling deep shifts the cultural DNA by changing widely held societal values and norms. For example:
The Innoweave self-assessment tool is designed to help you determine your organization's readiness and whether your initiative or program model is well suited for Scaling Impact.
This assessment has 5 questions.
Please respond to each of the questions to the best of your ability by choosing the option that most accurately reflects your organizational context.Start Now
For groups interested in Innoweave’s Scaling Impact stream, we encourage you to review our Scaling Impact Information Session:
Can’t find what you’re looking for? We might have more events in French. Or, contact the Innoweave team to discuss hosting a learning event for you and other organizations in your community.
Innoweave offers coaching support to organizations that are well positioned to implement a scaling approach. You can connect with an Innoweave coach to help you explore and implement your initiative. Then apply to Innoweave for funds to support that coaching engagement.
Your organization is eligible to apply for Innoweave coaching support if you have submitted an Expression of Interest and it has been approved.Apply Now
These are our most frequently asked questions.View All
Part of the preliminary work for Scaling Impact is identifying which parts of your program or service are generating the strongest impacts, and then planning to scale those impacts. If you aren’t sure how to demonstrate or measure your impact, you may wish to explore other Innoweave resources (like Impact & Strategic Clarity) to help you better identify these core elements.
Innoweave provides support for groups to access coaching to develop and advance strong Scaling Impact plans. Our coaching support mandate does not allow us to provide funds for project implementation.
Innoweave is happy to support models that generate positive impacts across almost all domains in Canada. We do not, however, support projects for which the primary beneficiaries are outside of Canada (e.g., international development projects).