An ecosystem map takes in to account the complexity of an issue and can provide a systematic, targeted analysis and create data informed actions. An ecosystem map can empower corporate social responsibility, foundation, and nonprofit leaders to determine the best role to maximize impact within their ecosystem.
Social issues often have a change in players, see demonstrated progress, or experience setbacks over time. Two recent examples are COVID-19 and Black Lives Matter. It can be overwhelming to keep a pulse on developments and present a risk of losing momentum or fear of getting to a point of stagnation without routine evaluation.
For organizations that have been working towards a social impact cause area for a long time, an ecosystem map can help improve work and refresh the approach or platform. Most of our clients seek to measure and tell a story of collective impact. An ecosystem is a data-driven decision-making tool that provides transparency and informs opportunities with key stakeholders, both key components of being able to share a coherent and comprehensive story.
For one client, they found the following benefits with mapping the financial literacy ecosystem:
Validated an assumption with data: a saturation of service providers within the ecosystem
Empowered the client to carve out an area of ownership piece within ecosystem map, by identifying new opportunities for relationships, thought partners, and partnerships to inform and evolve their work
Clarified the existing network of practitioners who can help tackle the outcomes and impact metrics of their work
Provided an opportunity to lead by example
How does the work of creating an ecosystem map translate to employees?
Having the data and insights of an ecosystem map arms corporate social responsibility and foundation leaders with the information to obtain buy-in and communicate strategic plans to the appropriate levels within an organization.
The data and insights can:
Help employees understand the WHY of the work
Invite employees into the strategy behind the corporate social responsibility and foundation work, creating alignment and empowerment
Increase employees’ knowledge and importance of the social issue
Develop a sense of employee pride with better and deeper understanding of the social issue.
All of this culminates in helping employees be better stewards of philanthropy and volunteerism, in their professional and personal lives. This effort helps build the foundation to help all of us do better work and for us to do better work.
If you would like to discuss creating an ecosystem map for your organization or cause, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.