Glossary

A comprehensive impact management glossary with hundreds of terms and counting.

When it comes to managing impact, many terms mean different things to different people, or different words are often used to mean the same thing. This glossary attempts to clarify the similarities and differences in language usage among a number of impact-focused disciplines that often interact.

If you want to know how the glossary was developed, what references are cited, how to have a term added to the glossary, or you want to contact the editing team, let us know at team@impactmanagementproject.com.

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  • Stakeholder

Stakeholder

General

A person with an interest or concern in something, especially a business.

Evaluation

Agencies, organizations, groups or individuals who have a direct or indirect interest in the intervention or its evaluation.

Related: Customer, Client, User, End user, Constituent, Beneficiary

Commentary

The definition of stakeholder is consistent across fields, but in practice there may be different views as to who counts as a stakeholder, namely who has legitimate or warranted interest.

In recent years, several players in the sutainable development, social enterprise, and impact investing fields have begun to use “client,” “customer,” “user,” “end-user,” “constituent,” and “stakeholder” in place of “beneficiary” as part of a movement to recognize the individuals who benefit directly from an intervention, product, service, or investment as active participants, rather than passive recipients. Though each of these terms vary slightly in meaning, they are often used interchangeably.