The best ways to share results
The results of good impact practice are only useful if they are shared, read and learnt from. In a recent conversation with a group of funders, we discussed the best way to present evaluation results and debated the use of a traditional (often long) reports. There are alternatives to written reports, for example, holding learning events where groups speak about what they have done, the results and the lessons from their work. We don’t always have to share good news indeed there is growing interest in ‘failure reporting’.
A while ago I challenged a client to write up her evaluation results as an executive summary first before seeing whether a full report was needed. She found she could convey the key findings in the four-page summary and there was no need for a longer report.
Whether we present results as a summary, a report, an event, or all three, the priority is that learning is channelled into improving the decision-making for future funding and programme design.
It is my hope that funders will boldly share with others, not only their impact results but also their impact practice story, perhaps through formal networks (eg, ACF, London Funders) or informally at roundtables, meetups (one of which we facilitated at NCVO in mid-July), and more widely through blogs. This will enable those to understand others in the funder universe.
To find out how you’re doing on impact practice check out Inspiring Impact’s free online self-assessment Measuring up! for funders. Some simple principles and drivers of good impact practice, developed by funders for funders, are also available on the Inspiring Impact website.