How Can a Social Impact Strategist Help Me?
Social Impact Strategists are coaches and consultants who have a deep understanding of how social enterprises work or how social entrepreneurs can create a legacy through either a business or a nonprofit. Social Impact Strategists can help you meet a wide range of goals including making a bigger impact, aligned funding or sales methodology, and strategies for changing systems. Their work might include, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), advocacy, policy, and executive development.
While there is no formal training or certification for Social Impact Strategists, the field is growing as more coaches and consultants focus on the area of impact-making. People with the title Social Impact Strategist focus on the strategy to create change or how to implement a strategy for sustainability.
What is the Difference Between a Social Impact Strategist and a Nonprofit Consultant?
Nonprofit consultants provide guidance and support to nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their goals and make a positive impact in their communities.
Nonprofit consultants work with nonprofit organizations to assess their operations, identify areas for improvement, and develop strategies to help them achieve their goals. Those goals might include developing and implementing fundraising strategies, designing and implementing programs, and providing guidance on organizational structure and governance.
While Social Impact Strategists can also work on these areas, they do not solely focus on nonprofit organizations. Social Impact Strategists can help social businesses as well as nonprofit organizations. This increased flexibility helps break barriers between businesses and nonprofit organizations for the ultimate good of serving individuals and communities in need.
Some social impact strategists focus on individual change for social entrepreneurs rather than on the organization as a whole. While a nonprofit consultant is more likely to focus on the entire organization’s needs or a specific part of the organization itself.
For social businesses or social enterprises, a Social Impact Strategist is more likely to have aligned experience with your organization’s goals. While a nonprofit consultant may have skills that can be transferred from the nonprofit sector to a for-profit business their primary focus is not on serving profit-driven businesses.
When seeking support from a nonprofit consultant or Social Impact Strategist, you can ask questions like:
- How can you guide my organization through a strategic planning process?
- What does success look like for your existing clients?
- How can you assist me in growing my impact on the cause and people I serve?
- What information do you need access to from my organization to complete your work?
- How long will this engagement or process take and what benchmarks will we achieve?
Nonprofit Consultant Vs. a Social Impact Strategist for Fundraising Support- Which is Better?
Both a Social Impact Strategist and a nonprofit consultant can provide guidance and support on fundraising and development. Fundraising is a crucial part of any nonprofit organization, and effective fundraising is essential for achieving a nonprofit organization’s goals.
Both of these professionals can help organizations to develop and implement fundraising strategies that are tailored to their specific needs and goals. Working with a Social Impact Strategist or consultant can help you identify potential donors, develop fundraising campaigns, or use online platforms to engage with supporters.
The crucial part of choosing either a Social Impact Strategist or nonprofit consultant is finding one with a deep understanding of fundraising and coordinated funding. While a nonprofit consultant might only focus on the mechanics of fundraising, a Social Impact Strategist might tie that to the programmatic aspects of your work and the goals included in your organization’s strategic plan.
The methodology a consultant uses to support your fundraising efforts is important, when looking for support you can focus on key questions like:
- How will you assess my existing fundraising strategy and efforts?
- How can I better align my goals with my fundraising strategy?
- What type of support do you offer? Will you look at the efficiency and effectiveness of my programs as related to my fundraising efforts?
- Who in the organization do you recommend works directly with you and how will you support them?
How Do I Know Which Consultant to Choose for Fundraising Support?
When it comes to providing guidance on fundraising, who you choose depends on your needs and the type of experience of the consultant you are working with. Choose a consultant who has experience working in nonprofit organizations and understands how to coordinate multiple streams of funding.
It is important to connect your needs with the consultant’s experience so you can maximize the types of strategies recommended to you and coordinate with your organization’s existing strategic plan.
If you do not have a strategic plan or a fundraising plan, consider working with a consultant or agency of consultants who can guide you through the process of developing both types of plan in a coordinated manner. In the case of fundraising, the type of consultant does not matter as much as their experience and the fit of their services to your organization’s needs.
Implementation Resources for Social Businesses or Nonprofit Organizations
Both social businesses and nonprofits need a strategy to do their impact-based work. As a business owner, you might partner with a nonprofit to fulfill your impact mission. As a nonprofit, you are likely implementing impact-based programs and services.
Implementing social impact programs is a big part of making a difference. Every organization that is supporting others through its programming is doing some form of implementation. A Social Impact Strategist can assist with reviewing the intricacies of implementation that will help your organization make a bigger impact.
You will need different types of implementation support depending on the way you are implementing your impact mission. Some things a nonprofit consultant or Social Impact Strategist can help with include identifying the needs of the community, developing program goals and objectives, and implementing and evaluating programs to ensure that they are meeting their goals.
Just like support with fundraising, choosing the right consultant or coach to help you implement your impact mission depends upon your needs and goals. When you need implementation support look for a professional who:
- Has a deep understanding of implementation science or has a long history of implementing impact-driven programs and services.
- Has experience with grants or implementing strategies outlined in grant applications.
- Understands the type of impact portfolio you are implementing and how to help you reach your outcomes.
- Is focused on the sustainability of your programs and services for lasting impact and social change.
How Can Social Impact Strategies Support Local Businesses with Corporate Social Responsibility?
Many small business owners want to give back to their communities but do not know how or have not formalized their impact work. Solopreneurs and businesses that are not scaled might think they do not have the bandwidth to create a full CSR program.
A Social Impact Strategist can assist a small business owner in identifying the most effective way to work with the community and consistently reach their desired impact outcomes. Additionally, if a business is ready to develop its own CRS program, a Social Impact Strategist can help to start or scale your existing efforts. Through coaching and consulting, a Social Impact Strategist can help small businesses grow their business and profit by formalizing their impact mission and leveraging it for marketing purposes.
A few goals small businesses can set to grow their business with their impact include:
- Connecting the business impact and profit missions so they are holistic and support one another.
- Creating an impact portfolio or formalizing existing community efforts.
- Developing a measurable way to do community impact work.
- Assessing the marketing aspect of your business and incorporating your impact work into your brand identity.
Need Support For Your Impact Goals?
We provide guidance and support to small businesses and nonprofit organizations to help them achieve their goals and make a positive impact in their communities. We offer a comprehensive set of consulting and coaching services to promote the sustainability of your work while supporting the organization’s founders with professional development.
Highlights From Our Portfolio
Looking for inspiration and guidance on how to build a social impact business or nonprofit?
Our social impact business coaching services have helped startup social businesses and nonprofit organization founders harness their energy and build a sustainable legacy.
Through our consulting service, we assist established organizations in assessing government grant and contracting opportunities, with draft review, program development coaching, and analyzing policies for future funding. In addition, we provide consulting services for social businesses that are looking to incorporate Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) practices into their operations, including sustainability strategic planning, community partnership development, and stakeholder engagement.
Our clients have found success with our data-driven approach and extensive experience in the field of social impact. We work with each client individually to develop a comprehensive plan that aligns with their unique needs and goals.
Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our satisfied clients in these testimonials. See how Wendie Veloz Enterprises can help you create lasting change and make a positive impact in your community.