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Impact Field Guide & Toolkit

DOC SOCIETY’s Impact Field Guide & Toolkit is the result of “collaborations, conversations, agreements and disagreements with incredibly smart film teams, funders and partners from all over the world.” The toolkit—which includes a library of case studies for social issue documentarians—features modules to help filmmakers define their vision and strategy, among others.

Impact Guides

The Center for Games & Impact at Arizona State University has created a series of free downloadable Impact Guides for dozens of games, which they invite users to tailor to their own experiences in order to collectively “consider the ways that games can make a difference in the way we address societal issues, learning gaps, and problem solving in our day-to-day lives.”

Impact Pack

Dot Connector Studio’s media engagement strategy deck, developed in collaboration with Media Impact Funders and the Media Impact Project at USC Annenberg’s Norman Lear Center, is a hands-on deck of cards designed to help media makers and funders map out and assess different strategies. Use the deck to brainstorm, strategize, and assess impact, think through your goals, prototype your media engagement strategy, and define your relationships with users. Read more about the development of the Impact Pack here.


Impact Playbook: Best Practices for Understanding the Impact of Media

With support from the Fledgling Fund, the Harmony Institute and the Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) teamed up to author this guide, which lays out strategies for documentary producers seeking to measure and communicate the impact of multiplatform projects.

Impact Tracker

Developed by the Center for Investigative Reporting, the Impact Tracker was created to streamline impact measurement and analysis for journalism projects. It serves as an interactive database for newsrooms to set and track impact priorities ranging from structural changes such as policy reform, to more nuanced changes such as when community groups use reporting to bolster their work, or audience members respond positively to content. Learn more about how to use the Impact Tracker here.

Impact Workbook

This workbook from the Fledgling Fund provides a step-by-step playbook to help documentary filmmakers plan their entire impact campaigns, from articulating their vision and impact strategy and deciding on the best data collection methods, to building sustainable partnerships, developing social media strategies, creating realistic budgets and beyond.

IMPACT: A Practical Guide to Evaluating Community Information Projects

FSG and the John and James L. Knight Foundation produced this practical guide, which aims to help organizations analyze the impact of their community information and media projects.

Journalism Impact Toolkit

The Walton Family Foundation Journalism Impact Toolkit provides a guide to understanding investment strategy in media projects, audience targeting and development, identifying appropriate outputs and strategies and defining outcome targets, baselines and indicators. Read more about the Walton Family Foundation’s journey into nontraditional media funding here.

Measure your Mission. #BeyondVanityMetrics

For mission-driven organizations trying to measure the impact of their work, “talking about metrics is only half the battle.” The new report Beyond Vanity Metrics, a collaboration between CEL, a social change centered non-profit and the Mobilisation Lab at Greenpeace, a global learning hub for digital activism, “explores how digital organizers can … embrace more meaningful measures.”

Media Impact Measurement System

The Media Impact Measurement System (MIMS) from the Media Impact Project at the University of Southern California’s Norman Lear Center “integrates everything from web traffic and Facebook likes to offline actions and survey research to see how media can engage audiences and determine what works and what doesn’t.” Check out the open-source Data Repository to see types of impact assessment and deep analysis that are not not available through standard reporting tools. (The code is available on GitHub.)


MediaCloud is an open source media analysis platform that was developed by the MIT Center for Civic Media and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. The platform is to designed to “aggregate, analyze, deliver and visualize information, answering complex quantitative and qualitative questions about the content of online media.”


Developed by Chalkbeat, a nonprofit news organization covering U.S. education systems, Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence (MORI) is a WordPress plugin for tracking journalism impact. MORI allows users to record impact and attach it to individual WordPress posts, categories or tags. Users can review impact over time and export information to share with stakeholders as needed. Read about how MORI was developed in this white paper.