What is the outcomes matrix?

The Outcomes Matrix is a practical tool to help social impact organisations  plan and measure their social impact in terms of outcomes. 

The tool includes outcomes and measures for nine different outcome areas and four lenses for considering the service users of your organisation. 

The Outcomes Matrix is a useful tool to:

  • Gain a starting point for planning and measuring your social impact outcomes 
  • Communicating your impact to social investors and key stakeholders
  • Thinking about future areas of development for your organisation should provide a helpful starting point for organisations to measure their social impact.

Watch the step by step tutorial video.

 How does the Outcomes Matrix work?
outcomes matrix

The Outcomes Matrix will take you on a journey as you follow the steps from start to finish. You can select the outcomes and indicators that are relevant to your organisation and add additional detail when you wish.

At the end of the tool, you will be able to download your answers in PDF or Excel format. 

Step 1: The area you work in - what impact do you contribute to?

There are 9 outcome areas the tool explores. You can browse and select the relevant outcome areas for your organisation in order to build your own unique Outcomes Matrix.

These are 9 outcome areas:

  • Arts, Heritage, Sports and Faith
  • Citizenship and Community
  • Conservation of the natural environment 
  • Employment, education and training
  • Family, friends and relationships 
  • Housing and local facilities 
  • Income and financial inclusion
  • Mental health and wellbeing
  • Physical health

To explore the outcome areas in more detail, read the guidance here. 

Step 2: Choose your outcomes and indicators

Once you have selected your outcome areas, you can add specific outcomes and indicators. This allows you to future customise and capture the impact your organisation is making. 

Step 3: Who will this impact? 

When considering service users, we suggest you consider four lenses: 

  1. People at high risk of harm, disadvantage and discrimination
  2. Protected characteristics
  3. Socieonomic groups; and 
  4. Geography. 

This approach is intersectional and enables you to think about and capture how different people (or service users) may experience a combination of multiple forms of discrimination or disadvantage. This also allows you to explore how this may affect their ability to access your product or service and achieve the intended outcomes.

To explore these four lenses in more detail, read the guidance here. 

Steps 4 and 5: Review, edit and download

Once you have added information on your service or product users, you can move on to the final two steps that allow you to review and edit the information you have added.

If you want to add or change information, you can move back and forth between the steps. Finally, you can download your responses as an Excel file.

The Outcomes Matrix was first developed in 2011 by Big Society Capital, Social Value UK, Investing For Good, Outcomes Star and New Philanthropy Capital and hosted by Good Finance.


Jargon Buster

Make sure to explore our handy Jargon Buster if there's any terms you'd like to learn more about! 

Guides and Resources

Browse our curated list of guides and resources that help you measure and manage your impact. 

Case Studies

Explore how other organisations are making an impact.