How can I demonstrate our impact and effectiveness as a group or organisation?
At some stage, you will want to know if your project or activity is having an impact on the lives of the people who come along to your events. This will help in a number of ways, including:
• To know you are reaching the people you wanted to help .
• To inspire confidence from existing funders and be attractive to potential funders.
• To attract new volunteers and service users.
• To identify gaps and improvements you could make in future.
• To know that your efforts have been worth it!
The marketplace for tools to monitor, assess and publicise the impact and effectiveness of services and activities is a crowded one. It’s easy to feel a bit daunted at first and wonder which one works best for you and your project.
At the moment, there’s no commonly-accepted or approved impact measurement tool, and there is even resistance from some organisations to using the negative question-based methods from the Office of National Statistics, for example. So it’s worth talking to funders you apply to and ask if they suggest particular methods.
For a comprehensive list of methods, checkout this page from NCVO’s website
The Campaign to End Loneliness offers useful resources, including Measuring Your Impact on Loneliness and Later Life. They have also produced this presentation, which includes a one-page summary of commonly used methods.
Impactasaurus is a relatively new arrival, and their vision is “for all organisations, benefiting society, to understand their social impact, allowing them to demonstrate their value to stakeholders and drive improvements to their services. To achieve this vision, we are creating easy to use and inexpensive software, to help small and medium size charities measure and understand their social impact.”
In 2018, What Works Wellbeing developed a guide, specifically for work around loneliness.
Starting off, you may want to include:
• the number of people coming along to your activities and events
• the number of people volunteering
• their age, gender, ethnicity, postcode, disability
• an easy way for people to give feedback at least once a year on their overall satisfaction and on the difference it’s made to their lives and those of their carers.
RVA’s Safe and Sound Award
The aim of Safe and Sound is to see that trustees have relevant safeguards in place to protect themselves, the charity and its beneficiaries and that it has given due consideration to its core responsibilities. Whilst it is the duty of trustees to make the final decisions as to how to implement your work, RVA can provide guidance and support in making those decisions.
Quality in Befriending
Quality in Befriending is the only award in the UK which is specifically tailored for befriending services and is valued by referrers, befrienders, commissioners and funders. Developed by Befriending Networks in consultation with member organisations and other experts in the field of befriending, it promotes Good Practice in the Sector. QiB is relevant for services of all kinds, from children and young people to older adults, one-to-one face-to-face befriending to telephone or group befriending.
Let the people know!
The most simple and painless way of demonstrating your activities and impact is by making the most of social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. See the section on How to publicise your group or activity and get in touch with RVA for help with recruiting a publicity or social media volunteer.