50 countries impacted


Arlington, VA

People know that if they invest with Rare, we have solid processes in place to use their money wisely. The BSC [Balanced Scorecard] says we are disciplined and serious.

Daniel Hayden

Senior Director of Global Programs

Rare’s mission: inspiring change so people and nature thrive.

Their method: using the Balanced Scorecard to measure and manage performance. And with measures at the heart of its operations, this global conservation organization has been able to achieve greater transparency and accountability—while expanding its scale, reach, and impact.

The Origin Of Performance Management At Rare

For any nonprofit, measuring impact is difficult. Many factors influence outcomes, and for mission-driven organizations, many of those factors are beyond their control.

Rare’s Balanced Scorecard-based strategy management and measurement program did not happen overnight, but it has played an important part in its steady growth and improvement.

Ascendant helped Rare simplify their strategy map and merge it with their business plan. Its clarity enables focus, and the pared-down BSC enables Rare to report performance frequently, which increases the leadership team’s effectiveness.

Transitioning From Process Measures To Impact Measures

For any nonprofit, the ultimate measure of success should be outcomes. But in the early stages of BSC adoption, it’s often difficult to avoid process measures.

To ensure measures best reflected the realities of conservation programs, Rare took the important step of shifting BSC stewardship from its finance team to its program team, who were better equipped to devise relevant measures. Ascendant helped Rare not only with the causal linkages in its measures but also in establishing a reporting process with its leadership team and board of trustees to focus on strategic measures.

Expanding Reach, Enhancing Impact

Rare’s strategy management process has helped the organization clarify its focus and the organization’s metrics have played an important part in engaging donors. Within five years, Rare went from being a $9 million a year operation to a more than $20 million a year one and has been named one of the top 100 NGOs in the world.

With its BSC firmly in place, Rare can now draw upon its metrics to report biological impacts to constituents and the public—something unimaginable only a few years ago.