ABC of Enterprise Impact | ABC at Outcome Level ABC classification begins at the granular level of individual outcomes experienced by stakeholders, using data to describe those outcomes across the five dimensions of impact.

these norms were facilitated by the Impact Management Project and its Practitioner Community of over 3,000 enterprises and investors.


An enterprise can classify an outcome experienced as Acting to Avoid Harm, Benefiting Stakeholders, or Contributing to Solutions based on data across the data categories that underpin the five dimensions of impact. Outcomes can be classified prospectively based on goals, or retrospectively based on performance.

ABC at Outcome Level

For simplicity, the ‘ABC’ of impact is referred to as a form of impact classification. However, “Benefiting stakeholders” is technically an outcome classification, as it is based on a level of performance rather than a change in performance and does not require causation. 

“Act to avoid harm” and “Contribute to solutions” are both impact classifications, since they require change over time that is caused by the enterprise. They differ with regard to whether the original below-threshold outcome was originally caused by the enterprise itself (“Act to avoid harm”) or not (“Contribute to Solutions”), and whether the outcome has crossed the threshold into the sustainable range, or is expected to do so during the period for which goals are being set.

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