As the BALLE community transforms how society thinks about the purpose of business and the economy, it’s imperative that we develop a common framework for measuring what matters. To shape and move this field, measurement must be a focus to support Localist leaders in quantifying, articulating, and resourcing their work. In fact, measuring what matters is one of BALLE’s core values.
BALLE Fellow Amy Robinson runs LOCO BC, building community and partnerships to move sustainability deep into businesses.

BALLE Fellow Amy Robinson runs LOCO BC, building community and partnerships to move sustainability deep into businesses.

BALLE’s three communities of practice represent a leadership network of 107 fellows, impact investors and community foundation leaders. BALLE’s programs and local economy leaders are helping to build healthy local economies that work for all:
  • Community Investment: The first cohort of the Local Economy Foundation Circle (formerly Community Foundation Circle) committed to aligning more than $2.5 billion in collective investment assets to support local economic growth.
  • Collective Reach: The first four cohorts of the BALLE Fellowship include 76 Fellows that directly serve 87,500 local businesses and impact another 1.5 million people through policy.
  • New Funding: The first three cohorts of 48 BALLE Fellows reported receiving $1.8M in new funding in 2015 for local economic development that they directly attribute to connections or skills developed through the Fellowship. That brought the cumulative investment to Fellows to over $6M in new funding since 2011.
  • Advancing Economic Equity: In the 2014 and 2016 Fellowship cohorts, 100% of Fellows report that they serve underserved communities as a major or primary part of their work.

Measures and successes from all BALLE’s programs, events, and activities can be found in our annual Impact Report:

Click to view BALLE’s most recent annual Impact Report!

Impact and Assessment

Since 2012, with the generous support of the Surdna Foundation, BALLE has been developing a variety of impact and assessment (I&A) tools to develop quantitative and qualitative proof points for our work as well as the broader Localist movement. BALLE’s I&A Program has multiple goals, including:
  • Develop robust, common proof points for the diverse work of Localism
  • Gather data on Localist business practices and how BALLE-affiliated organizations support and catalyze the sector
  • Speak to the common community outcomes of Localist work and the common threads among diverse communities, programs, and organizations
  • Provide opportunities for peer-sharing of data and methods
  • Share information widely and provide further inspiration, leadership, and context for the Localist field
  • Establish baseline data to track over time
  • Measure the impact of BALLE’s programmatic work (i.e. the 2016 BALLE Impact Report)

 

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Alfa Demmellash, BALLE Fellow and Board member, is co-founder and CEO of Rising Tide Capital, a nonprofit that supports under-served entrepreneurs in low income urban communities to start and grow successful businesses in Jersey City, NJ.

BALLE Quick Impact Assessment (QIA)

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A cornerstone of BALLE’s I&A work is the BALLE QIA. Launched in partnership with B Lab, the non-profit behind B Corporations, the BALLE Quick Impact Assessment (QIA) is a shorter, custom version of B Lab’s Business Impact Assessment (BIA), with an emphasis on Localism—practices that support
healthy, sustainable communities backed by strong, resilient local economies. In addition, new assessment metrics were added to track the impacts of cooperation between community entrepreneurs. The BALLE QIA is a measurement tool for BALLE-affiliated organizations of all types including local business networks, incubators/accelerators, local community development organizations and other place- and region-based organizations, and is designed to:
  • Help businesses measure and improve their impact on the communities and natural places on which they depend, in a digestible and informative way
  • Help BALLE-affiliated organizations gain insights into the ecosystem of businesses that they support
  • Provide robust data and proof points on the power of the Localist movement in North America and the businesses engaged with it, and to raise greater awareness of key Localist tenets and practices
The BALLE QIA is currently being piloted in 12 pioneering communities around North America with the following 12 participating organizations: