A clear social mission is core to the development and success of a social enterprise. Social entrepreneurs need to be able to communicate the organisation’s mission effectively in order to attract supporters or customers. However, the connection between a social enterprise mission and how impact is evaluated is not always made (Ormiston & Seymour 2011).
Several things can form barriers to mission and measurement alignment, including the challenge of measuring impact well, the over-valuing of numbers, and competing views from different stakeholders (Ormiston & Seymour 2011).
If impact measurement is not well-aligned with the organisation’s mission, a social enterprise can risk measuring things that might seem relevant (like the number of people reached), but don’t actually capture whether the social mission is being achieved (for example, what changes or benefits were experienced by the people who were reached?) (Ormiston & Seymour 2011).
Despite the challenges involved, aligning impact measurement with social mission is important in ensuring that social enterprise evaluation is as effective and informative as possible about whether social value is being created.