Our impact

Inspiring Impact has helped thousands of people across the UK in their efforts to understand and improve their impact practice. But there’s always room to learn more

Why is Inspiring Impact needed?

The voluntary sector exists to create positive impact in society. But we believe poor quality information is holding exceptional organisations back from creating the change they want to see.

Inspiring Impact supports people who work or volunteer for charities and social enterprises to better understand how their activities are connected to change on the ground, so they can identify opportunities for learning and improvement. We call this impact practice. The result is an organisational culture where everyone contributes to achieving maximum social impact.

Our Theory of Change

What we achieved in 2018-2019

In 2018-19 Inspiring Impact:

  • launched a new and improved website.
  • had 413 people attend one of 24 peer learning events across the UK.
  • had 16,834 people access the free tools and resources on our website

Event attendees said the events:

  • ‘Were a chance to share with other people.See what challenges other people experience and how they overcome them’
  • ‘Made me think about how else we can track impact in less formal ways and [I] shared this with others in organisation’
  • ‘Made me alter my methods of evaluation and gave me fresh ideas’

What we achieved in 2012-2018

Awareness of good impact practice has increased, and it is widely understood as the entire impact cycle (plan, do, assess, review). Three out of four survey respondents in 2017 said their organisation’s impact practice improved in the last 12 months. Two thirds stated their organisational knowledge of impact practice improved in the last year.

  • 5,054 people accessed our resource library last year
  • 320 charities, social enterprises, and funders have committed to adopting the
    principles of good impact practice
  • 2,000 people have used Measuring up!
  • 602 people have used the Data diagnostic
  • 38 organisations across the UK have become impact champions We have completed 6 sub-sector partnerships in the sports, sight-loss, mental health, and infrastructure sectors
  • In summer 2015, New Philanthropy Capital conducted a 3-year review of Inspiring Impact. The findings of this review have been summarised in a report here.

*Numbers based on data between 2012-2018

What we’ve learned and how we’re adapting

  • Impact practice is thought of as a technical activity, and yet our evaluations tell us that practitioners value our social support the most. Beyond the tools, scales, and jargon, they benefit from talking and listening to other people via our peer learning networks and events.
  • But networks are not enough on their own. A well-curated digital platform gives every charity and social enterprise access to impact support. This is particularly crucial for smaller organisations, which comprise 97% of the sector and may otherwise lack the time and resources to attend events. Demand for free online tools and guidance is strong, with over 110,000 unique visitors to our website since our launch in 2012, and average monthly traffic of 2,000 unique users.
  • The challenge for many organisations is choosing the right approach. More than half of the charities and social enterprises that have completed the Inspiring Impact self-assessment tool, Measuring up!, were not confident they had chosen data collection tools suited to their information needs and context.
  • People want action. After using impact resources and tools, people want clear next steps based on the lived experiences of others.
  • Most organisations collect and use some data, but they’re aware it may not be the right data, and they lack the resources, skills and confidence to use it effectively. Most small or medium charities do not have dedicated staff for this. Where there is capacity, there may not be capability. Inconsistency and the lack of a broader ‘impact’ strategy are common when there’s pressure to evidence performance to secure grants or contracts.

We are still evolving.

Learning is fundamental to our approach. We work with users and other stakeholders to draw on a wide range of expertise and apply lessons learned from previous experience.

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Our work

Find out more about what Inspiring Impact does

Our team

Meet the people behind Inspiring Impact

Our impact champions

Get to know our impact champions

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