How we measure success
We measure our success by our ability to make farmers more prosperous.
Guided by our mission, we use the discipline of a business to deliver cost-effective services to millions of people.
We rigorously measure three core metrics:
We aim to scale because each new client is a farmer who matters. Each year, we ensure more and more families access life-improving farm services.
We deliver impact as our bottom line. Farmers invest their hard-earned money with us. We multiply it into more crops in their fields and income in their pockets.
Efficiency (Social Return on Investment)
We spend resources efficiently, putting every dollar towards what’s best for farmers. We always ask ourselves: How can we use our resources to do the most good for farmers?
As a mission-driven organization, we do not make a profit. Instead, we invest all revenue back into the communities we serve.
By 2030, we aim to serve 10 million farmers—fully 10 percent of the families in the world living on $1 a day. In 2021, we served 3.2 million farmers, both directly with a bundle of farm services and indirectly by improving access to farm services in entire regions, typically through partner organizations. Collectively, One Acre Fund farmers create hundreds of millions of dollars in new farm profits each year.
In 2021, we served 1.4 million farmers directly with a full bundle of services. These farmers get quality seed and farm supplies on credit, and hands-on training throughout the year. These farmers earn 40 percent more profit from supported farming activities, on average—a life-improving difference in income. And their families become more food secure and climate resilient.
In 2021, we also expanded access to quality farm services for an additional 1.8 million farmers. We improve farm services in an entire region or country, like opening rural shops and distributing trees, often working with governments and private sector partners. This provides a more modest income boost for each farmer, but can reach large numbers of farmers very efficiently.
Finally, we pride ourselves on reaching the most vulnerable populations. One Acre Fund farmers have an average daily expenditure that is less than half the $2.15 income per person per day threshold for extreme poverty; and our average loan size is roughly four times smaller than that of the average farmer-serving microfinance institution in East Africa.
Additionally, 50-60% of registered clients (and 60-70% of training attendees) across our operating countries are women; at least 2x the rate of average large-scale agriculture programs in Africa. We achieve these rates by designing our programs with women’s typical educational levels and time availability in mind, and by achieving a balanced workforce by gender.
Efficiency: Social Return on Investment
We finance our operations with a mix of farmer purchases and donor dollars. Farmer purchases cover most of our daily field operations, and donor funds help us grow and innovate. This revenue mix keeps us accountable to farmers and financially stable.
For every dollar we spend, we aim to put more income in farmers’ pockets. We call this our "social return on investment” or SROI. Put simply, SROI measures the new farmer profit created for every dollar of donor funding invested. The more efficient we become, the more impact we create with each donor dollar.
In 2021, the farmers that One Acre Fund served directly produced $3.60 in new income and assets for every $1 in donor funds, or an SROI of 3.6, representing strong impact efficiency for the poverty levels of the farm families we reach.
As we grow, we aim to fund more and more of our operations through farmer purchases, and make each donor dollar go further.
Explore more impact areas
At One Acre Fund, we care deeply about measuring and understanding the impact of program participation on farmers' lives. We think of impact as our "North Star", and rigorous measurement is the only way to know if we are heading in the right direction.
This article explores why we believe social return on investment is an underutilized yet surprisingly flexible tool for making strong resource allocation decisions that maximize nonprofit impact.
Measuring Social Return on Investment Before You Invest
Using a social return on investment framework, organizations can estimate the future impact, cost, and scale of programs before they begin, and allocate resources for greater impact.
Comprehensive Impact Report
This report takes stock of One Acre Fund’s M&E as we complete our first decade of operation, highlighting lessons learned, methods we have refined, and areas for further improvement.