Decisions are agreements on future action… a fulcrum between today’s power dynamics and tomorrow’s.

Our Crises of Exclusion

Our current crises are in part caused by exclusion from decision-making. For example:

  • Economics: Employees are not consulted about working conditions. The result is exploitative work, burnout culture, and The Great Resignation.
  • Race: People of color are marginalized from decisions that affect their lives. …

Equity, inclusion, and democracy itself require us to create the future together. How can we ensure these participatory processes fit already busy lives?

Design with, not for. Design at the margins. Bring more people into the process. These are critical principles to live, work, and design by.

If we want to create a world in which all can thrive, it’s important that we get participation right. We have a long way to go…

The past year was probably a time of turmoil and transformation for you. It certainly was for me.

I have changes to share. Even though I know there are more to come, it’s time to make them public. Time to break the chrysalis.

1. My name is Mer. You probably know me as Mary. Last spring, I changed my name to Mer (pronounced “mair”). It’s a more accurate…

Evaluation has often collaborated with racism, plutocracy, neocolonialism, and genocide. We must end our collusion.

A History of Harm

About six months ago, I decided to write a history of impact measurement, the means by which the benefits and harms of social change work are assessed. It seemed innocent enough. …

The US wasn’t discovered, it was designed. It can be redesigned too.

A historic painting of the Continental Congress with red dots covering the faces of most of the individuals depicted.

In September of 2019, the documentary filmmaker Arlen Parsa posted a striking image on his Twitter feed. It was an altered copy of Declaration of Independence, a painting created almost 100 years ago. The painting shows a group led by Thomas Jefferson presenting a draft to the Continental Congress. …

It’s our ongoing response that matters, both my response as a white founder and Do Big Good’s response as an organization.

Over the last several days, I’ve struggled to find the right words to respond to this crisis. But it’s not this public statement that matters. It’s what comes after. It’s our ongoing response that matters, both my own response as a white founder and Do Big Good’s response as a…

The world was in crisis before COVID-19. What happens to all those other causes now?

A World With One Cause

Yesterday, I was talking to a friend who works for an environmental nonprofit. She described how her team was re-assessing every element of their strategy in the face of COVID-19.

Entire strategies need to change, and in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

For her organization, it is…

Beneficiaries are the experts on their own neighborhoods and their own lives. It makes sense to include them in evaluation.

Different Needs…Same Metrics?

We measure impact because we want to account for benefits and prevent harms. But different stakeholders in the impact value chain have different needs:

INVESTORS and DONORS deciding between opportunities need to compare and evaluate impact.

SOCIAL ENTERPRISES and NONPROFITS trying to create benefits and avoid harms need…

Lagging and leading indicators will change the way you measure — and manage — impact.

What is impact?

Social change is hard. In fact, it’s complex. How can we make it easier to create social change? How can we make social change work more likely to succeed?

This article proposes a simplified process for more effective social change work. It proposes using measurement to make better evidence-based decisions…

What investors and philanthropists need to know about how social change works.

Impact investors and donors want to use capital to serve humanity and the planet. But what does funding this kind of change actually mean?

Believe it or not, running a social enterprise or nonprofit is harder than running a startup.

Social change is complex and unpredictable. Investors and donors want…

Do Big Good

inclusive decision-making //

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