Blog: Inspiring Impact awarded £600,000 of National Lottery funding to improve charity impact

Published:21st August 2018

Today, 21 August 2018 the Inspiring Impact programme has been awarded £600k of National Lottery funding through the Big Lottery Fund, the largest funder of community activity in the UK. The programme will be delivered by New Philanthropy Capital, NCVO Charities Evaluation Service, Social Value UK, Evaluation Support Scotland, Community Evaluation Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action to continue supporting charities and funders across the United Kingdom to improve their impact practice.

The funding continues the Inspiring Impact programme, which has been running since 2012 and has so far supported over 50,000 charities with over £1m funding, and brings it together with the Impact Management Programme, running since 2016. Existing funding of £15k from the City Bridge Trust will also support the programme through 2018-19.

Designed by and for charities and social enterprises, the support available is responsive and relevant to organisations trying to improve their work with limited resources. Organisations like Cornwall Rural Community Association, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Circle and the Macrobert Arts Centre and Sported NI, have benefitted from the programme’s support and are shaping its future.

Aimed at charities who want to start to understand and improve their impact, the programme offers:

  • Flexible grants that charities & social enterprises can spend on understanding and improving their impact. The existing programmes have previously awarded nearly £2m of grants across the UK.
  • A website that brings together the best free resources from across the sector, including the Data Diagnostic, a 5-minute questionnaire that provides tailored recommendations about what data to collect. Over 100,000 people have used the website already.
  • Networks that bring people together to share what works and learn from each other. The voluntary sector looks different in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales so local partners will adapt their activities to local demand.


Sally Higham, independent Chair of Inspiring Impact 2018-21 and CEO of RunAClub said;

‘We are delighted to have received this funding from the Big Lottery Fund. It’s a testament to the difference the project has made over its life so far, helping charities up and down the country understand – and prove – the difference they make.

We have integrated elements of codesign into the program, with solid online resources, to ensure the content is as grass roots and charity led as possible. This will make what is a unique and vital programme even more useful for charities, reach more people and create more impact for charities across the UK.’

Joe Ferns, UK Funding Director at the Big Lottery Fund, said:

‘Thanks to National Lottery funding, a number of charities and community organisations will be better equipped to measure the impact of their work. This will not only improve practise but also support organisations to explore how they grow and develop their services.’

Find out more about the future programme.

Editors notes

About Inspiring Impact

Inspiring Impact was formed in 2012 and aims to change the way the UK voluntary sector thinks about impact. Now run by New Philanthropy Capital, NCVO CES, Social Value UK, ESS, CENI and WCVA, it has supported over 70,000 charities through its website, events and grant funding. This new funding of £600k secures it until 2021. This year Inspiring Impact merged with the Impact Management Programme, a co-designed charity impact improvement initiative which has run since 2016.

About the Impact Management Programme

The Impact Management Programme was formed in 2016 and aims to build the capacity of charities and social enterprises to manage their impact and diversify their income. Run by New Philanthropy Capital, Social Value UK, Social Enterprise UK, Impetus-PEF, Social Investment Business and Hactar, it has supported over 4,500 organisations through its website, events and £1.8m of grant funding.

About NPC

New Philanthropy Capital is a charity think tank and consultancy which works with charities and funders to help them achieve the greatest impact. It is driven by the values and mission of the charity sector, to which it brings the rigour, clarity and analysis.

About Social Value UK

Social Value UK is the national network for social impact and social value. We empower our members to understand their impact, identify the good they do and create even more. Our members share a common goal: to change the way society accounts for value.
All too often key decisions about resources and policies are made using a limited economic concept of value, which fails to consider important effects on people and the environment.

Our goal at Social Value UK is to support, connect, and represent our members through training, knowledge-sharing and networking. Social Value UK is a member of the global network Social Value International.

About Evaluation Support Scotland

Evaluation Support Scotland is a charity that works with charities and funders in Scotland so that they can measure and report on their impact and use learning to improve practice and policy.

About WCVA
WCVA is the national membership organisation for the third sector in Wales. Our vision is for the third sector and volunteering to thrive and improve well-being for all. We do this by influencing, connecting and enabling.


NCVO champions the voluntary sector and volunteer movement to create a better society. We connect, represent and support over 14,000 voluntary sector member organisations, from the smallest community groups to the largest charities.  NCVO Charities Evaluation Services have over 27 years’ experience in helping voluntary organisations improve their effectiveness through self and external evaluation, capacity building and organisational development.

About CENI

Community Evaluation NI (CENI) is the evaluation champion and infrastructure support body for the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector in Northern Ireland.

Big Lottery Fund

The Big Lottery Fund uses money raised by National Lottery players to help communities achieve their ambitions. From small, local projects to UK-wide initiatives, our funding brings people together to make a difference to their health, wellbeing and environment. Since June 2004 we have awarded £9 billion to projects that improve the lives of millions of people.


  • £600k of National Lottery funding through the Big Lottery Fund has been secured for the Inspiring Impact programme, supplemented by £15k from City Bridge Trust
  • Charities will benefit from online support, events and flexible grants to spend on understanding and improving their impact
  • Programme is a continuation of the highly successful Inspiring Impact brand and the Impact Management Programme, run by New Philanthropy Capital, NCVO Charities Evaluation Services, Social Value UK, Evaluation Support Scotland, Community Evaluation Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action.

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