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Dual bottom line analysis


A guide to help your organisation explore it's activities to assess the extent to which each contributes to value and surplus

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What the tool is

This tool explores all the organisation’s activities (not just services or campaigns) to assess the extent to which each contributes to the ‘dual bottom line’ - (value and surplus). It allows you to compare the relative merits of each.

Why you should use it

The dual bottom line analysis will help make sure you have:

  1. a relevant and impactful set of activities
  2. sufficient funds to meet the needs and activities of the organisation over the medium to longer term.

It also helps you to understand all your organisation’s work and who you do this work for.

This tool recognises the reality that many organisations face. Income generation activities often compensate for services or campaigns that make a loss but have an impact. However, it’s important to have a set of activities which, taken together, are financially sustainable.

This tool helps you to explore your whole set of activities to see how they exist in relation to each other. It also helps you to consider the extent to which each activity contributes to the impact you seek to have and the income you need to make to afford your activities and invest in the future.

When you should use it

This tool is useful when you want to take a fresh look at all of the activities of your organisation.

This could be because you want to start something new and need to understand what you can stop doing to make time and free up funds for a new activity. Or because you need to cut back your activities because your income is falling.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 04 July 2022

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