Defining Success

Once each implementation phase begins, it’s important to track activities, progress towards established goals/objectives, and lessons learned throughout each process in order to function more effectively and efficiently.

This data can be collected in two formats: activity-based indicators and impact-based indicators.

Activity-Based Indicators

These indicators will derive from progress made towards established goals and objectives. 

Blighted Home Renovation Strategy

  • Number of homes purchased, restored, and sold by the land bank
  • Total dollars spent to purchase and restore homes
  • Number of partnerships created/utilized Number of grant applications submitted
  • Number of grant applications awarded

Construction Bootcamp

  • Number of enrolled participants
  • Number of participants who completed the program
  • Number of graduates who obtained employment less than 6 months after completion of the program
  • Number of public meetings held
  • Number of printed promotional materials distributed
  • Number of social media/online posts promoted
  • Number of partnerships created/utilized
  • Number of grant applications submitted
  • Number of grant applications awarded

Creative Center

  • Number of visitors to the Creative Center
  • Number of individual donations
  • Number of marketing materials distributed
  • Number of grant applications submitted
  • Number of grant applications awarded
  • Number of classes held in the center
  • Number of public events held in the center
  • Number of groups utilizing the center space

Impact-Based Indicators

Economic and community development projects require significant time and investment in terms of labor, planning, funding, and more. It’s important to remember that measuring impact can be achieved in a variety of ways, but also takes time to see impact come to fruition. Impact can be measured by economic and geographic trends in terms of Sparta’s overall population. However, it is common to not see the following indicators significantly change for many years. That doesn’t insinuate positive change isn’t occurring in the community, it simply means… Examples of impact-based indicators Sparta could include are: 

Blighted Home Renovation Strategy

  • Net change in homeownership rates
  • Net change in Sparta property tax receipts
  • Net change in population
  • Average rental rates
  • Average housing cost of units for purchase

Construction Bootcamp

  • Total job growth
  • Average annual wages
  • Individual and household per capita incomes
  • Adult educational attainment
  • In/out-migration of prime working-age population groups
  • Number of homes renovated by the Bootcamp
  • Total dollars spent to renovate homes

Traditional indicators do not always measure progress as well for arts-based activities. This is harder to see and correlate with, for example, Census data. Therefore, the Creative Center can administer surveys to participants and event attendees to gather more accurate information related to the activities occurring in the space:

Creative Center

  • Satisfaction of classes offered
  • Satisfaction of events hosted
  • Total pieces sold during an exhibition

Tracking each project’s performance can help demonstrate the true impact on the community. By having a solid foundation of measurements, this information can be used to demonstrate the progress being made, leverage for future funding opportunities, and help engage the community further on this initiative.