Being good at your mission matters – both to your community and to your organization’s financial health.
IMPACTS has been tracking the relationship between perceptions of mission execution and financial performance for several years, and the findings have remained consistent. We’ve found that the best way to show the data is using two, composite metrics:
Revenue efficiency contemplates revenue streams (including admission, membership contributions, and program revenues) relative to operating expenses and the number of people that an organization serves. A more revenue efficient organization is generally more financially stable.
Reputational equities contemplate visitor perceptions such as reputation, trust, authority, credibility, and satisfaction. Basically, it’s the market’s opinion of how well an organization delivers its mission and experiences.
We reliably observe that those organizations that the market perceives as most effectively delivering on their mission are the same organizations that achieve the greatest revenue efficiencies. Since IMPACTS commenced tracking this metric several years ago, the data continue to evidence a strong correlation between reputational equities and revenue efficiency. Though the data shown here represents museums, we observe a similar relationship among nearly all types of visitor-serving organizations – including zoos, aquariums, and performing arts centers.
In the interest of maintaining appropriate confidences, you can see that I have anonymized the organizations represented in this chart. Each letter represents one of 13 notable US cultural organizations – the types of organizations that most any observer would recognize. In other words, this data isn’t a “stacked deck” – it’s representative of an overall trend. In fact, of the 48 visitor-serving organizations in the US for which IMPACTS tracks these metrics, 47 of the organizations (98%) indicate this compelling correlation. We have found from our tracking of this metric over time that reputational equities tend to reliably predict revenue efficiency.
Tell everyone that the data is clear: Being good at your mission is good business.