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Report: Consumers say McDonald’s has the worst quality fast food

Mar 8 2017

McDonald’s and other traditional fast food giants may be losing marketshare to fast casual spots and regional chains, but a new study has confirmed just why some consumers are stepping away from big brands.


According to a new report, consumers surveyed said McDonald’s has the lowest quality food out of all the big fast food food restaurants. The chain was ranked in the number 12 spot (out of 12) in a review conducted by RBC Capital Markets, a global investments bank.


Together with research firm Mission Measurement, RBC asked 1,000 people to determine how they ranked the top U.S. sandwich and burger chains based on the quality of the food served.


Read the full feature here.

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Are You Shocked By New Data That Says McDonald’s Has the Worst Food Quality in Fast-Food?

By Lindsay Rittenhouse – Mar 5 2017

The once-leader of the fast food industry currently has 36,525 locations worldwide. McDonald’s executives recently outlined bold plans to investors such as launching mobile ordering and improving food quality. Judging by RBC’s survey, McDonald’s could only go up from here.


“We wonder if McDonald’s can make a bold move to leap frog the competition with regard to quality–something that would be difficult at McDonald’s scale,” says Palmer.


Read the full feature here.

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Ben & Jerry’s is supporting Black Lives Matter — but will it make a difference?

By Aaron Morrison – Oct 7 2016


No — you won’t find “Fudge the Police” or “Hands Up, Don’t Scoop” Ben & Jerry’s flavors in your local supermarket freezer aisle.

But the iconic ice cream brand this week joined activists around the country in proclaiming that “black lives matter.”

Ben & Jerry released a pro-BLM statement online Thursday, and the company’s tweet announcing its support was retweeted by the Black Lives Matter Global Network’s Twitter account on Friday.


Read the full feature here.


Mission Measurement Announces New Technology to Revolutionize Government Spending and Impact Investing

Sep 19 2016

New York, NY (PRWEB) — A team of world-renowned researchers has “cracked the code” on why some social programs work and others don’t. The breakthrough holds tremendous promise for the future of government – allowing science and data, rather than politics, to guide policy decisions, budgeting, philanthropy and program design. It may also transform the very nature of philanthropy – leveling the playing field and allowing charities to be funded based on their results and likelihood for success, versus their size or reputation.


The Impact Genome Project®, a public-private partnership, creates a universal way to evaluate social programs – using evidence to analyze the program design (or “genes”) to determine its likely success.


“The government and nonprofit sectors have never had predictive data. In fact, it’s the only sector of the economy that only measures after they invest, not before,” noted Jason Saul, co-founder of the Impact Genome Project®. “Just as analysts use Bloomberg, attorneys use Westlaw, and lenders use FICO scores, policymakers and foundations will now have tools to benchmark and predict outcomes before they invest and maximize impact.”


The Impact Genome® was co-founded by Dr. Nolan Gasser, famed musicologist and architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project®. The Impact Genome employs a systematic process to break down social science into standardized components, just as the Music Genome Project™ enabled Pandora to classify music using hundreds of distinct musical characteristics so that listeners could evaluate and compare songs they like. Both projects were inspired by the Human Genome Project, which empowered researchers to evaluate and improve health outcomes and transformed the field of medical research.


Read the full announcement here.

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Elevating Health at the United Nations Global Compact

By Derek Yach– Jun 23 2016

This post was coauthored by Derek Yach & Gillian Christie, Vitality


Ten years following the Earth Summit (1992) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) in Johannesburg, South Africa was an opportunity to elevate health on the environmental and development agendas. The newly launchedSustainable Development Goals (SDGs) build upon outputs from Brazil and South Africa to position humans at the center of sustainable development by valuing health as an input and an outcome of sustainable societies.


The United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) is uniquely positioned to translate the SDGs into action. Partnerships with 8,600 businesses and 4,000 non-businesses from 160 countries advance responsible and sustainable business practices through ten principles, focused on human rights, labor standards, the environment, and anti-corruption. It’s recently appointed Executive Director, Lise Kingo, brings extensive business expertise, along with a deep desire to improve the health of global populations.


The UNGC’s Global Opportunities Report 2016 indicates that SDG8 (decent work & economic growth) and SDG3 (good health & well-being) rank highest in a global survey of 5,500 private and public sector leaders on the impact of the SDGs on sustainable development and new business opportunities.


Read the full feature here.

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Center for Data Innovation: 5 Q’s for Jason Saul, Chief Executive Officer of Mission Measurement

By Joshua New– May 30 2016

The Center for Data Innovation spoke with Jason Saul, chief executive officer and founder of Mission Measurement, a social-change focused analytics firm based in Chicago. Saul discussed how most social programs don’t use meaningful data to measure their progress and how Pandora Internet Radio inspired him to take a predictive analytics approach to social change.


This interview has been edited.


Joshua New: Mission Measurement focuses on helping organizations make better decisions about how to affect social change. Why is there a need for this?


Jason Saul: My background is in analyzing government programs and policy, and while I was doing bonds for public projects it struck me that there wasn’t any really good way to measure these programs. I started something called the Center for What Works to develop these methods, publishing books and doing consulting on measuring social impact, and then a couple years ago the governor of Illinois asked me to be on a bipartisan commission called the “budgeting for results commission,” which was set up by the Illinois legislature to figure out what government programs actually work so we could fix the state’s budget problem.


We ran into a major quagmire on the commission because we couldn’t figure out how to get the right data for the legislators and the budget analysts to actually make recommendations for the budget. That left us with two unacceptable alternatives. On the one hand we had a bunch of administrative performance metric data, which had really low value in terms of actually determining the impact or value of a program—it was just data about things like “number of miles of road laid,” and “number of carnival rides inspected.” Most governments call this “performance data,” but I call it just low-grade sludge of useless administrative data. On the other hand, we had university researchers that could crawl through these programs for years and perform randomized control trials to giving you an answer about what works five years after the fact. Given that we had to issue a budget in three months, neither of these would be acceptable options.


We had to invent a third option, and I realized that we needed to get government to start generating predictive data about what programs work. Pretty much every field in the world has tools to make decisions about what to do based on predictions about what will work, except for the field of policy. For example, no lawyer would ever go into court without comparing their case against historically similar cases in a legal database like LexisNexis. No investor would ever take a stake in public company without analyzing the company’s performance and making a prediction about its future. In the policy space, without these tools we’re essentially just guessing, which means most of decisions the public sector makes are not supported by good data, benchmarks, and analytics.


Read the full interview here.


The Wendy’s Consumer Is Recognizing Improved Value And Quality

By Jim Swanson – May 12 2016

Wendys Co WEN 1.25% reported its 1Q results ahead of expectations.


RBC Capital’s David Palmer maintains an Outperform rating on the company, with a price target of $12.


Same-Store Sales


The analyst maintained the 2Q same-store sales growth estimate of 2.5 percent, marginally below the company’s full-year guidance of 3 percent.


Palmer cautioned, however, the Wendy’s same-store sales growth was likely to slow in April, in line with the industry. The expectation was for the April fast food industry same-store growth to come in at about 1 percent, after rising 3.5 percent in 1Q.



Value & Quality


RBC Capital’s recent proprietary research with Mission Measurement suggests that Wendy’s has improved its value and quality scores.


Read the full feature here.


CO-OP Partners with Innovators, Engages Public to Help Credit Unions Fulfill Purpose at THINK 16

May 02 2016

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In an age when many consumers are distrustful of big banks, CO-OP Financial Services is helping credit unions capitalize by partnering with cutting-edge companies to update the industry’s traditional focus on “people helping people.”


Credit union employees, speakers from organizations outside of the industry and consumers will come together for THINK 16, May 3-6 at the Hotel Del Coronado in the San Diego area. The four-day conference will provide a forum for presenters and audience to discuss and find solutions to financial challenges facing the modern consumer, including a live brainstorming session between credit union attendees and more than 40 local consumers.


“For nine years now, THINK has attracted world-class thought leaders to continue raising the bar on the credit union difference over all other financial services,” said Stan Hollen, President/CEO of CO-OP. “The goal each year is to develop and inspire impactful solutions for the needs of credit union members. This year’s conference is more interactive than ever, with a new emphasis on audience collaboration with our speakers to improve the financial lives of today’s consumer.”


Studies show Americans are looking for financial institutions that offer technology, serve as an advisor and play a positive role in the community. At THINK 16, CO-OP will unveil CO-OP Purpose – a new corporate social responsibility program that includes financial literacy education outreach, philanthropy, collaboration and research. CO-OP is marrying the fintech revolution with mission by partnering with the National Credit Union Foundation and other potential partners on the financial literacy components.


In addition, CO-OP has engaged the research firm Mission Measurement to demonstrate how corporate social responsibility programs can be profitable – with External Director Perry Yeatman highlighting at THINK 16 measurable success from companies such as Kraft and Unilever.


Read the full announcement here.

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Opening Pandora’s Evaluation Box

By Allyson Hewitt– Jun 23 2016

Jason Saul presented to a full-house as part of the MaRS Global Leaders series in April 2016 on his latest venture – the Impact Genome Project (IGP). A public-private partnership to code and quantify the “genes” of what works in social science. The audio of the presentation can be found below.


If you spend 5 minutes in the social impact sector you are sure to be asked, how do you know you are making a difference?


Jason and his colleagues at Mission Measurement have been tackling this question by taking us from the current state: we are spending $400 billion to achieve social outcomes without any standard way to accurately measure ROI; the evaluation industry is in disarray; evidence is unstructured and unintelligible; and yet evidence is growing exponentially – it is just not readily accessible. We have no common language; no benchmarks that allows us to compare social programs; and ultimately no predictive data meaning we can’t forecast before we invest. This is what Mission Measurement calls the black box problem.


Read the full feature here.

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Philanthropy Hour Podcast: Jason Saul on Measuring Social Impact

by Greg Cherry– Mar 18 2016


Hosted by Greg Cherry, Jason provides a more detailed look into the metrics and algorithms that drive Mission Measurement, and why it is such a crucial component of lifting the social sector, and improving organizations. For as long as the social sector has existed, funders and change agents alike have remained in the dark when it comes to measuring real performance and impact. How do we crack the code of social impact, and create a real, mainstream economic currency for the value of social change?


Listen to highlights and the full podcast here.


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USA Today: How Coke, Disney use data to donate smarter

by Matt Krantz– Mar 11 2016

Handing over giant cardboard checks is often what companies think of as philanthropy. But some big companies like Walt Disney (DIS) and Coca-Cola (KO) think they can do better – using data.


Big companies are wondering if social responsibility can be more than just writing a check – but also a way to boost their businesses and brands. Rather than simply donating a part of profit each year, companies are mining consumer data to find where they can invest in social causes that will actually help their business, too.


“Companies are turning their business brains back on when it comes to charity,” says Jason Saul CEO of Mission Measurement, a consulting firm that helps companies quantify the business benefit they get from social efforts.


Read the full feature here.

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National Health Council Leadership Conference Interview with Jason Saul

The National Health Council is the united voice for people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their family caregivers. Each year the NHC gathers leaders from the patient advocacy community to discuss emerging issues in the health community and ways to strengthen their respective organizations. At the 2016 Health Leadership Conference, Jason Saul, Founder and CEO of Mission Measurement, discussed the importance of defining, measuring, and communicating your organization’s impact.





Learn more about the NHC and the Health Leadership Conference here.



LSE’s The Impact Blog: It’s time to put our impact data to work to get a better understanding of the value, use and re-use of research.

by Liz Allen – Feb 19 2016

If published articles and research data are subject to open access and sharing mandates, why not also the data on impact-related activity of research outputs? Liz Allen argues that the curation of an open ‘impact genome project’ could go a long way in remedying our limited understanding of impact. Of course there would be lots of variants in the type of impact ‘sequenced’, but the analysis of ‘big data’ on impact, could facilitate the development of meaningful indicators of the value, use and re-use of research.


Read the full feature here.

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The Future of Fighting Hunger

by Chelsea Clinton– Nov 25 2015

For many of us in the United States, Thanksgiving is a special moment for communities and families to come together around the dinner table. However, particularly at this moment, in this season, we must not forget that too many families around the world face uncertain access to affordable, nutritious food — something so many of us take for granted, especially during the holidays.


Here in the U.S. last year, an estimated 48 million Americans — or 14% of American households — lacked the nutritious food they needed to lead healthy, productive lives. According to data collected by the United States Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service, the burden of food insecurity falls more heavily on minority households, families with children and especially households headed by single mothers who experienced rates of food insecurity almost 2.5 times the national average. This is especially tragic because we know that hunger can have negative long-term effects on young people’s health, academic performance, and future success. It’s unconscionable that in the wealthiest country on earth even one family is food insecure when we produce more than enough food to feed ourselves.


Read the full feature here.


Arthritis Foundation 2015 Annual Meeting Keynote

The Arthritis Foundation’s Annual Meeting celebrates the organization’s accomplishments, saluting the dedicated volunteers and staff leaders who make it happen and share the organization’s vision for the future. As a special guest, Jason Saul delivers this year’s keynote on “Selling Your Impact”- below are keynote highlights focusing on how organizations can make an impact and better report results.



Keynote speaker Jason Saul discusses ways to translate the Arthritis Foundation’s activities into innovative outcomes that make a real difference in people’s lives.  In this video clip – “So What?” – Jason explains why we must bring the Champion of Yes culture alive.






Jason Saul talks about why the Arthritis Foundation should promote how we’re working harder to bring solutions to consumers faster. Jason reminds attendees what consumers want to hear about.






To learn more about this year’s meeting as well as the organization’s strategic direction and community impact, please visit the event site here.


Northwestern University Journal of Integrated Marketing Communications: Data Helps Companies Realize the Value of Delivering Social Benefits

by Lucinda Hohmann– Nov 10 2015


For consumer-facing businesses like restaurants, grocery stores and automotive manufacturers, fierce competition on price, quality and convenience leaves little space for differentiation. Yet, even in this parity market, companies like Chipotle, Whole Foods and Tesla have defied the odds and achieved spectacular growth. So, what is different about how these companies position themselves?


These companies are capitalizing on emerging consumer demand for products and services that deliver positive social change. To better understand how companies in fiercely competitive industries grow, our company, Mission Measurement, developed a methodology that predicts how various factors will drive consumer behavior.


Read the full article here. The  2016 Journal can be found here.

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National Multiple Sclerosis Society 2015 Leadership Conference Keynote

Each year, hundreds of outstanding volunteers and Society staff leaders from across the country join together at the Society Leadership Conference to celebrate, motivate, inspire, educate, share and network so we are equipped for the important work still ahead to end MS. Jason Saul presents a keynote at the National Multiple Society Leadership conference,  sharing how organizations are stronger when they create — and demonstrate — their impact.




Learn more about the MS Society Leadership Conference here.


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Chelsea Clinton on the Food Security Genome at the World Food Prize

by Perry Beeman– Oct 15 2015

Former first daughter Chelsea Clinton’s parents always encourage her to speak her mind and to take action. So naturally, when she was 5 years old and had a beef with President Ronald Reagan over his plan to visit a Nazi cemetery in Germany, she wrote him a letter.


“I wrote: Dear Mr. President. I have seen ‘The Sound of Music.’ The Nazis don’t look like very nice people. Please don’t go to their cemetery. Sincerely, Chelsea Clinton.”


“I never heard back,” she told an audience at the Borlaug Dialogue at the Des Moines Marriott Downtown.

But she remembered the lesson that she should have an opinion, express it and pursue her interests.


Clinton, vice chairwoman of the Clinton Foundation, book author and an adjunct professor of health policy and management at Columbia University, gave the opening address at Wednesday’s World Food Prize afternoon session. She then joined a panel discussion on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) issues with former World Food Prize laureates Catherine Bertini and Robert T. Fraley, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and representatives of Google Inc. and Starbucks Corp.


Clinton detailed some of the foundation’s work in Rwanda, Malawi and Tanzania, which includes empowering women while fighting hunger. In one Ghana program, female farmers grow and roast peanuts that are made into a protein snack that is served in schools, Clinton said. A food company committed to buying the products for at least a decade. “I think that’s remarkable because it is empowering the Ghanaian farmers to own more of their own economics,” Clinton said.


Read the full feature here.


Globe and Mail Q&A: How charities can take their impact to the next level

By Paul Attfield– Oct 05 2015

Jason Saul, the founder and chief executive officer of U.S.-based Mission Measurement, is one of the world’s leading experts on measuring social impact. He has advised global corporations such as Starbucks and nonprofit charities like the Easter Seals on how to measure their performance and improve their impact on the communities they serve. Here, he lends his insight into how charities can create a greater social value proposition.


Read the full interview here.


CGI Annual Meeting: Mission Measurement’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment Announcement Video on the Food Security Genome

Sept 28 2015



Since the Commitment to Action announcement by President Clinton at this year’s CGI Winter Meeting surrounding the Food Security Genome, our consortium members have continued to combine efforts to code this evidence-base, drawing from corporate, NGO, academic and government resources in order to quantify outcomes, identify key success factors and create critical benchmark data in this vital area through this cross-sector partnership. The resulting “genomic” model will turn decades of data into actionable insights that enable users to predict the efficacy and cost per outcome for any food security program.


To learn more about this initiative, please view the Food Security Genome Commitment Announcement video below from the 2015 CGI Annual Meeting last month.




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Vancouver Sun: What the world needs now is not more charities

By Marc and Craig Kielburger– Jun 14 2015

We admire idealism and anyone who wants to take on a social issue with their advocacy or financial assets. Society needs more passionate people who want to change the world. But the world doesn’t need more charities.


This may be a surprise, coming from two charity founders. But 20 years ago, we didn’t set out to launch a non-profit. Our goal was to empower ourselves and other young people to take action. Free The Children was born after we scoured the phone directory (in 1995, we didn’t have home Internet) and realized there weren’t any organizations dedicated to helping kids tackle local and global issues. Existing charities only wanted our parents’ credit cards.


Read the full article here.


Why people are rejecting McDonald’s: Study

By Katie Little– May 11 2015

Why do diners eat where they do and what does it mean for McDonald’s?


A new report from RBC Capital Markets seeks to answer just those questions as the country’s largest fast food chain struggles to turn around its domestic unit.


McDonald’s has strayed away from value to the chain’s detriment, RBC said.


“In our view, McDonald’s U.S. division eased away from the Dollar Menu without a viable replacement. Given the perceptions—and expectation—that McDonald’s should lead with value, we believe this has been a big reason for McDonald’s woes,” wrote RBC analysts in the report.


The decision about where to buy food is sparked by a variety of factors, according to a study done for RBC by market research firm Mission Measurement that surveyed 1,758 respondents. There are traditional factors such as affordability, taste and variety, and social ones, led by quality ingredients, sustainable ingredients and healthiness.


Read the full article here.


50th WE Day Event: Q&A with Free The Children’s Craig Kielburger

By Andrew Duffy– Mar 31 2015

Launched in Toronto in 2007, We Day celebrates community-minded students; it aims to educate and inspire young people. We Day has been exported across Canada, to the U.S. and England — success that rests, in part, on the charity’s embrace of business-style metrics that offer donors, sponsors and educators concrete measures of the program’s impact. The Citizen spoke with Free The Children co-founder Craig Kielburger about that initiative.


Read the full interview here.


Mission Measurement Announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action

New York, February 10, 2015
— Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter meeting, President Clinton announced a new Commitment to Action designed to increase the impact of food security programs. A cross-sector partnership, The Food Security Genome, will systematically code the vast evidence-base drawing from corporate, NGO, academic and government resources in order to quantify outcomes, identify key success factors and create critical benchmark data in this vital area. The resulting “genomic” model will turn decades of data into actionable insights that enable users to predict the efficacy and cost per outcome for any food security program. This tool, which will focus first on the USA and then expand globally, will allow practitioners to design more impactful programs, thereby saving funders and implementers significant time and money and improving the lives of millions of beneficiaries.


The Food Security Genome is part of the Impact Genome Project™. It is led by Jason Saul, Founder and CEO of Mission Measurement and Nolan Gasser, Chief Genomic Officer at Mission Measurement and famed architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project™. Joining Mission Measurement in this effort are eight initial Food Security Genome Consortium members. They include leading corporations/corporate foundations (General Mills Foundation, Tyson Foods, etc.) and leading NGOs (Capital Area Food Bank, CARE, Heifer International and Share Our Strength).


“The greatest value of measurement occurs before we invest in social programs. Every other sector uses predictive data to make more informed decisions and to forecast expected outcomes. The social sector deserves the same. If we want to double our impact, we need to be able to compare investment opportunities, benchmark returns and determine not only what works but what works best.” said Jason Saul, Founder and CEO of Mission Measurement.


Watch the entire announcement here.


About Mission Measurement Corp


Mission Measurement is a world leader in measuring social outcomes.  With offices in Chicago, Washington and London, Mission Measurement helps companies, governments, foundations and nonprofits improve the return on investments in social change. For more information, visit us at or follow us on Twitter at @missionmeasure, @jasonasaul, @perryyeatman.


About the Clinton Global Initiative


Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together more than 180 heads of state, 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,100 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.


CGI also convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States, and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. For more information, visit and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at


The Food Security Genome Announcement- CGI 2015 Winter Meeting

The Food Security Genome is part of the Impact Genome Project®. It is led by Jason Saul, Founder and CEO of Mission Measurement and Nolan Gasser, Chief Genomic Officer at Mission Measurement and famed architect of Pandora’s Music Genome Project™. Joining Mission Measurement in this effort are eight initial Food Security Genome Consortium members. They include leading corporations/corporate foundations (General Mills Foundation, Tyson Foods, etc.) and leading NGOs (Capital Area Food Bank, CARE, Heifer International and Share Our Strength).


At the 2015 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter meeting, President Clinton announced a new Commitment to Action designed to increase the impact of food security programs. A cross-sector partnership, The Food Security Genome, will systematically code the vast evidence-base drawing from corporate, NGO, academic and government resources in order to quantify outcomes, identify key success factors and create critical benchmark data in this vital area.





Mission Measurement Announces Clinton Global Initiative Commitment to Action: Codifying the Key Success Factors to Improve Food Security

 Feb 10 2015

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Winter meeting, President Clinton announced a new Commitment to Action designed to increase the impact of food security programs. A cross-sector partnership, The Food Security Genome, will systematically code the vast evidence-base drawing from corporate, NGO, academic and government resources in order to quantify outcomes, identify key success factors and create critical benchmark data in this vital area. The resulting “genomic” model will turn decades of data into actionable insights that enable users to predict the efficacy and cost per outcome for any food security program. This tool, which will focus first on the USA and then expand globally, will allow practitioners to design more impactful programs, thereby saving funders and implementers significant time and money and improving the lives of millions of beneficiaries.


Read the full announcement here.


We Day: The Evolution of a Movement

By Marc and Craig Kielburger– Oct 29 2014

Seven years ago, before We Day became a global movement filling 14 stadiums in three countries, we stood together on a stage in front of an empty room, worried whether the first one would succeed. It was the eve of our first We Day in Toronto and we’d rarely been as nervous.


We had thousands of online registrations from students, but no guarantee they would come. The event was free, but to “earn” their ticket each participant was asked to perform an act of service for one local and one global cause of their choosing. Was this price of admission too high? There were no “real” celebrities attending — just some motivational speakers and local bands. And sure, celebrating the potential of young people to change the world sounded very cool to us — but the biggest group we’d ever assembled who shared that opinion was about 800. We had room in Toronto’s Ricoh Coliseum for 8,000. Gulp.


We had, however, unwittingly tapped into an idea young people had been waiting for.


Read the full article here.


Forbes: Using Big Data For Social Good

by Roshni Chengappa – Aug 27 2014

Every day, thousands of Americans apply for new credit cards, loans, and mortgages.  In the decision-making process, banks use one number to review a person’s financial history and assess their likelihood to pay off debt: a credit score. Similarly, other industries are striving to mimic this approach by using algorithm-based data to predict future outcomes in various settings. Enter Mission Measurement, the social impact consulting firm attempting to change the way corporations, government agencies, foundations, and non-profits invest in philanthropic causes by using data to forecast social impact program outcomes.


Read the full feature here.


The Cornerstone Journal of Sustainable Finance and Banking: The Customer Knows Best

by John Hoeppner– Jul 31 2014

The Customer Knows Best: Wall Street Needs to Prioritize Consumer Research


For consumer-facing businesses like restaurants, grocery stores, and automotive manufacturers, competition on price, quality, and convenience is fierce and leaves little space for differentiation. Yet, even in this parity market, companies such as Chipotle, Whole Foods, and Tesla have achieved spectacular growth. Are these companies positioning themselves in a significantly different way than rivals?


Mission Measurement research has shown that these companies have capitalized on emerging consumer demand that financial analysts have largely overlooked. To date, Wall Street’s use of deep consumer research has been limited. Most analysts use observable metrics like historical sales trends, demographic data, and business cycles to inform their sales forecasts. Still, direct consumer research is rare because extracting meaningful information from consumers is challenging. But consumer data is increasingly valuable, and for industries with largely undifferentiated products, understanding consumer decision-making is essential to forecasting sales growth.


Read the full article here.  Learn more about 2014 Summer Edition of the Journal here.


Can Social Impact Help You Grow Your Brand? Use the Social Value Index™ to Know Before You Invest.

By Jason Saul and Perry Yeatman – Jun 04 2014

It’s the same old story: Consumers say they care about social impact but their behavior just doesn’t match their statements. So marketers and brand managers have rightfully begun to doubt this claim.


Why does this happen? Because the traditional approach to determining what social impact to fund has been more like guesswork than the rigorous consumer research approaches used for other marketing decisions. The result is that brands and companies spend literally billions of dollars on causes and issues in hopes their consumers will care. There must be a better way. And now there is…


Read the full article here.


Mission Measurement Launches the Social Value Index at Sustainable Brands 2014

 June 04 2014

SAN DIEGO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mission Measurement Corp today launched a groundbreaking syndicated data product called the Social Value Index™ (SVI). The SVI and its components – the Social Value Score™ and Social Value Scorecard™ – identify and quantify three core insights: 1) the social value drivers of a specific industry that influence consumer demand and determine if a brand’s social impact efforts are relevant to their consumers; 2) the ratings and rankings of key competitors within an industry so a brand can see how successfully it is using social impact to influence consumer purchase compared to its peers; and 3) the estimated revenue increase, in dollars, for improving its Social Value Score™.


Read the full announcement here.


Does the secret to social impact measurement lie in algorithmic data?

by Claudia Cahalane– Apr 11 2014

The principles used to predict someone’s credit score or music taste can be used to predict social outcomes, according to a data expert speaking at the Skoll World Forum in Oxford.


In a sector increasingly being driven towards measuring its outcomes, Jason Saul’s product, created with the assistance of a musicologist at Pandora, uses former learning on social projects to assess how likely it is that social programmes will have desired results.


The Impact Genome Project, expected to be available at the end of the year, has a database of 78,000 “outcome data points” and will analyse the result of what would happen when these points are put together in different combinations.


Saul, the American founder of Mission Measurement who has previously started several non-profits, said that working with Nolan Gasser, a chief musicologist at Pandora, a US project that makes suggestions of songs based on a user’s previous choices, has been key to putting the Impact Genome Project together.


Read the full feature here.


SSIR: Introducing the Impact Genome Project

by Jason Saul and Matt Groch– Apr 09 2014

In a recent SSIR blog post, “Cracking the Code on Social Impact,” one of us (Jason Saul) introduced our Universal Outcomes Taxonomy, which serves as a foundation for benchmarking across the social sector. Even though this is a big step forward, the critical question remains: How can we benchmark social impact programs if they have no outcomes data?


The fact is that few nonprofits have quality outcomes data today, and they likely never will; capacity, cost, time, and consistency are all factors that make it impractical to expect them to produce quality data. To overcome this challenge, we must flip the measurement paradigm from empirical, longitudinal, retrospective data to real-time, predictive, algorithm-based data. In a word, we need to create “synthetic” data.


Other sectors have been successful in using algorithm-based data to predict future behavior or outcomes. For example, when someone applies for a loan, the bank uses his or her credit score to predict the likelihood of repayment. When a student applies to a college program, the admissions committee uses a formula that considers standardized tests, high school transcripts, and other factors to predict the likelihood that the student will be successful in the program. Both of these widely used and well-regarded decision-making tools rely on “synthetic” data.


The basis of developing this “synthetic” data is a comprehensive mapping of the factors involved in predicting a specific outcome. In 1990, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health launched the Human Genome Project to predict health outcomes. In 2000, Pandora created the Music Genome Project to quantify music and predict songs that are likely to produce the outcome of a heightened listening experience. And now, in 2014, we’re announcing the launch of the Impact Genome Project, a massive effort to systematically codify and quantify the factors that research has shown drive outcomes across the entire social sector.


Read the full feature here.

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Top 10 Sustainable Brands Talks of 2013

By Dimitar Vlahov– Feb 19 2014


The glory of abundance is not necessarily lost and visions of a flourishing future are not naïve. There are strong signals pointing to the possibility of a thriving global economy — with health, dignity and happiness for all involved. The leading brands of tomorrow are seeing a wealth of opportunities in pursuing that possibility. They are reimagining their role in society, redesigning the ways they deliver value, and regenerating economic, environmental and social benefits as a result.


Smart brands planning for the long term are making sure their products and services are top-notch competitors in the market, while also solving social problems and alleviating, or altogether eliminating, resource tensions along the way. More and more are also starting to reach out in authentic voices, lifting artificial communication barriers and inviting key stakeholders on interactive, co-creative journeys. As we gear up to host hundreds of brands at the biggest annual gathering of the global Sustainable Brands community in early June, let’s take a look at what proved to be the 10 most popular talks from Sustainable Brands events in 2013.


Read the full article here.


Cracking the Code on Social Impact

by Jason Saul – Feb 06 2014


Over the past few decades, practitioners, evaluators, and academics have struggled to organize, measure, and understand social change. We have made a number of important advances, including more rigorous control studies, digitization of 990 data, outcomes tracking software, and improved reporting. One important challenge evaluators have faced in the social sector is standardization: How can we learn from past efforts if we cannot systematically compare one socially focused program to another? Researchers have tried to solve the “apples to oranges” problem in a number of ways. In the 1980s, the Urban Institute’s National Center on Charitable Statistics (NCCS) created a common code for classifying nonprofit organizations by entity type, and later created another system to classify program services and beneficiaries. Others have tried to standardize performance metrics using “shared measurement systems” such as IRIS and the Cultural Data Project. Still, these efforts fall short of codifying the true results of an organization’s programmatic efforts: outcomes.


Read the full feature here.

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The Difference Between Spending Money and ‘Buying’ Outcomes

by Jason Saul– December 04 2013


The government is a ‘crappy’ venture capitalist,” said Larry Summers, then President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser, in a 2009 email. This may or may not be true, but most venture capitalists would be pretty bad, too, if they had no systematic way to evaluate investments and no way to measure their returns.


The lack of measurement may be the single greatest challenge facing state governments today. Arbitrarily “guessing” at which policies and programs work, or merely re-funding the same programs year after year, is a major factor in racking up $4 trillion of state indebtedness.


To reverse this trend, states have introduced a spate of new initiatives over the past few years that are designed to improve accountability and focus on results. These initiatives run the gamut from performance-based budgeting to social impact bonds, to performance management to managing for results.


The Illinois Budgeting for Results (BFR) initiative, passed in 2010, stands out as unique among them for several reasons. First, the governor appointed a bipartisan BFR commission to steward the statewide initiative and ensure its implementation. Second, the initiative is focused not just on more performance measurement, but on standardizing outcomes across the state. And third, the initiative does not aim at the low bar of merely avoiding waste, but instead aims to identify programs that deliver the best bang for the buck. To put it simply, it is like turning the state into one “big” social impact bond.


Read the full article here.

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Fast Company: Superman and STEM

By Eileen Sweeney– Nov 30 2010

With the buzz surrounding Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman film and the recent launch of President Obama’s Change the Equation initiative, education once again comes to the forefront of the national agenda. Just one year after the administration unveiled the Educate to Innovate campaign, this new flurry of attention is a great opportunity to gauge the progress our country is making to close the learning gap in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) subjects and to examine how we can move the education agenda forward.


Last November, through Educate to Innovate, the White House began taking serious steps to promote STEM training. Now we stand at an even more crucial crossroads: two years into the most serious economic downturn since the Great Depression, our nation’s unemployment still hovers near 10 percent, with minorities and young workers hardest hit. Still, STEM jobs, including those in our telecommunications industry, are rising in number, projected to expand by 1 million this year. The irony is that only 200,000 American graduates have the skills to fill them.


Read the full article here.

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Fast Company: Why Make It Less Worse, When You Can Make It Better?

by Marc Stoiber – Jun 16 2016

Every once in a while you come across an idea so simple, self-evident and smart, you can’t believe it isn’t on every billboard in the land.


The particular idea I’d like to describe came in a presentation by Jason Saul, CEO of Mission Measurement at this year’s Sustainable Brands conference. His talk was on the shift from corporate responsibility to responsible profit.


Saul began by reflecting on the ‘reset’ that corporate thinking is going through. Shareholders and CEO’s are increasingly looking for social and environmental value coupled with financial value, but many CSR (corporate social responsibility) programs are still designed to reduce risk. Recalibrating from risk reduction to value maximization is proving to be a significant hurdle for companies.


Read the full feature here.


Ad Age: A Pause to Reflect on Cause Marketing

By Brian Powell– Jun 18 2009

Cause marketing spending is projected to reach $1.57 billion this year, according to the IEG Sponsorship Report. And it’s more powerful and effective than ever in this economy. According to Performance Research, 41% of U.S. consumers believe companies can best improve brand perceptions by increasing their cause sponsorships — for the first time surpassing sports and arts/cultural categories as ways to boost consumer opinion.


While philanthropy may be down, consumers often see a cause campaign as a way to break a tie on a choice and enable them to personally contribute at low to no additional cost. With the demand for increased transparency, brands are learning to leverage their efforts in sustainability and support of other social issues as differentiating drivers of favorability and word-of-mouth.


Read the full interview here.