Giving Compass' Take:

• The Michael & Susan Dell Foundation (MSDF) shares lessons its learned from working with disadvantaged kids in urban areas and how the foundation's mission centers on constituents.

• What can other organizations learn from MSDF's example? One takeaway would be to get out in communities more and listen to the needs to those you're serving.

When it comes to actually measuring impact, here are three tips for nonprofits.

What is our “secret sauce”?

At the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, we constantly consider how to best accelerate opportunity for children living in urban poverty.

And what we come back to — each time — are the seven goals that anchor our social impact work. From creating opportunities for low-income students to attend high quality schools, to helping young parents gain access to responsible financial services, to supporting low-income families as they navigate out of poverty, the goals that drive our investments are anchored not in models or causes, but in people.

And in return, our goals have helped to keep people front and center in our work for nearly 20 years. Our goals hold us accountable to ensure that we are working directly with disadvantaged and underserved children and families in the United States, India, and South Africa, learning from their experiences and partnering with them to successfully remove obstacles to opportunity.

In the communities in which we work, real and lasting solutions cannot be executed from conference rooms. When life is hard, good ideas can only get you so far. True solutions are about turning ideas into reality; they are about working at the community level with determination, with persistence, and with a relentless commitment to making it work, no matter what.

Across the world, we are privileged to work with a set of partners who share our passion for people and for outcomes.

Read the full article about sharing social impact goals by Janet Mountain at Michael & Susan Dell Foundation