Sign up to the impact principles

Inspiring Impact created two sets of principles – for charities and funders – to pinpoint what good impact practice looks like. By signing up, you pledge to review current practice and drive improvement in your approach

Both funder and charity principles have been developed through sector-wide consultation

Charities: The code of good impact practice

For charities and social enterprises, ‘impact’ is the difference you make. By focusing on your impact, you can make more of a difference through your work. This means planning your path to success, carrying out high-quality evaluation, assessing your performance, and reviewing and learning from the results.

The code of good impact practice identifies eight principles, each of which includes a description of what impact practice looks like if you apply the principle, an explanation of why it is important, and some ideas about how to implement it.

Signing up to the principles demonstrates a commitment to reviewing your current impact practice and driving improvement in your approach. This simple action can have the power to transform your focus on impact.

1. Take responsibility for impact and encourage others to do so too.

Impact is embedded throughout the culture of your organisation. All staff and volunteers see it as their responsibility to create impact through their work, to have a role in showing how their work makes a difference, adapting based on learning and sharing learning with others. Leaders of your organisation see delivering impact as their primary responsibility and duty.

2. Focus on purpose.

You’re clear about your purpose as an organisation: the difference that you exist to make. You’re able to explain your intended impact in meeting this purpose. You can describe how you will create this impact, plainly, so that everyone can understand.

3. Involve others in your impact practice.

At all stages of impact practice you look for appropriate opportunities to involve others. As a minimum this includes involving those with direct experience of the organisation’s activities. It could also include other organisations doing similar work or funders.

4. Apply proportionate and appropriate methods and resources.

You’re realistic about your impact practice—you apply time, effort and methods proportionate and appropriate to the scale and scope of the work. Keep things simple and do what you can to focus on impact. You choose methods that fit with the values of your organisation, and you’re clear about the purpose of collecting impact information, who will use it and for what.

5. Consider the full range of the difference you make.

You seek to understand both the intended and unintended impact, considering both positive and negative impact. You acknowledge that in some cases you will balance positive impact on your beneficiaries with negative impact on others. You seek to understand why your work might have a longer term or wider impact than anticipated. Equally, you know that change may be short term, have occurred without your involvement, or be the result of other initiatives.

6. Be honest and open.

You’re honest and open about the impact you intend to have, and your findings on the difference you have or haven’t made, as well as what you have learnt from these findings and how you will act on these lessons. You’re honest and open about the scope of your impact practice. You and your funders discuss what works, what doesn’t work, and what you can learn.

7. Be willing to change and act on what you find.

You’re ready to change as a result of finding out what impact you are or are not having. You commit to learning from your impact assessment and you actively use it to inform strategy, planning and delivery. Your funders are also willing to learn and change.

8. Actively share your impact plans, methods, findings and learning.

You communicate your impact plans, methods, findings and learning to ensure others know what you’re trying to achieve and to contribute to a wider view of what does or doesn’t work. You share appropriate information inside and outside the organisation. You acknowledge the limitations of your findings.

Funders: The funders’ principles and drivers of good impact practice

For funders and commissioners, ‘impact’ is the difference you make. By focusing on your impact, you can make more of a difference through your work. This means planning your path to success, carrying out high-quality evaluation, assessing your performance, and reviewing and learning from the results.

As a funder, you have a critical role to play in shaping behaviour; your approach, and the level of support you provide, strongly influence impact practice among grantees and investees.

The Funders’ principles and drivers of good impact practice provides a starting point for discussions about impact. It is designed to help you better understand how you can support grantees in their impact practice, while developing your own approach.

Principle 1. Proportionality in relation to rigour and resources.

Proportionality has implications for resource allocation (time and money) and on reporting requirements. It is important to be realistic about your impact practice— being proportionate and appropriate to the scale and scope of the work. However, it is also important to ensure findings about an organisation’s impact are compared either to similar data collected over time, or to other approaches, in order to draw meaningful conclusions.

Principle 2. Open mindedness, flexibility, adaptability and transparency.

It is important to take a flexible approach and adapt practice as appropriate. Openness and transparency build trust, foster ongoing dialogue and ensure genuine learning about what works well and what does not.

Principle 3. Acknowledgement of respective independent values.

The working practices of funders and charities are driven by their own independent values. Funding relationships, including impact practice, should be based on mutual recognition of respective values, roles and responsibilities.

Principle 4. Recognition that everyone can contribute to impact, and also to impact practice.

Widespread organisational involvement can inspire and motivate staff, trustees and stakeholders and contribute to the development of both the organisation itself and its practices.

Driver 1. Seek clarity about the difference funders and the organisations they support want to make.

Being clear about the difference you want to make is a prerequisite to planning your organisation’s activity, and central to any approach to impact evaluation. This will define the nature, scope and detail of work, help determine the type and level of evidence required and help determine the most appropriate methods and tools to collect and analyse it. It will also help identify the potential for the use of shared data or shared measurement approaches.

Driver 2. Support organisations in their impact practice, and resource for the funder’s own impact practice.

Funders play a role in supporting impact at all stages in the impact cycle. It is important to invest in work that makes a difference in the first place, and then to assess and learn from it. Only impact assessment tools that focus on evidence relevant to the desired outcomes should be used. Tools should use quantitative and qualitative data as appropriate, and should also seek to capture all impact, whether that’s positive, negative, intended or unintended. Shared measurement should be considered where appropriate, at all levels—the organisation, programme, and project.

Driver 3. Identify the difference made and assess how and why it was made.

Thorough analysis is required to draw out lessons that can inform decision making and future practice. This analysis should focus on what the change has been, and the causes of that change. Comparisons should be drawn where possible over time or against other activities, and consideration given to what could be done differently.

Driver 4. Share and act on learning and seek to improve practice.

Knowledge and learning are valuable commodities which should be shared with others. Funders should expect to learn from their peers too. But acquiring knowledge is only valuable if it is acted upon to inform decision making and change future policy and practice—this applies equally to funders and the people and organisations they support. Creating and assessing impact are not static processes: they require constant review and refinement of your approach, taking into account cost and effectiveness and, in particular, feedback from stakeholders.

People that have signed up so far

ABC Community Network

Director

Abbeycroft Leisure

Strategy & Policy Officer

Aberdeen Boxing Club

Club Development Manager

Age Concern Luton

Chair

Age UK Bexley

Supported Information and Advice Manager

Alabaré Christian Care & Support

CEO

Alabaré Christian Care & Support

Care & Support Director

Alan Balmer Associates

Owner

Alliance for Useful Evidence

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Alzheimer's Society

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Archaeology Scotland

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ArtCare, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust

ArtCare Team Coordinator

Artis Foundation

Programmes Manager

Arts Connection - Cyswllt Celf

Arts Manager

Artswork Limited

Data Research Coordinator

Ashford Place

CEO

Atelier Kayab

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Atlanta Influences Everything

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AzuKo

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BAVO

CEO

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Director of Rugby

Bann Valley Community Group

Project Officer

Barking & Dagenham Council for Voluntary Services

Chair

Barnardo's

Quality Manager

Barrow Cadbury Trust

Be Strong Project

CEO

Beeslack Allstars Disabled Sports Club

Chair

Beith Trust

Development Manager

Bernard Sunley Charitable Foundation

Grants Officer

Bexley Voluntary Services Council

Operations Manager

BidRightBiz

Managing Director

Bike for Good

Head of Projects

Birmingham Vision

CEO

Blind Society

Consultant

Blue Leaf

Managing Director

Body & Soul

Public Health & Impact Manager

Boxing4Life

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Bradford Community Environment Project

CEO

Bradford Trident Limited

CEO

Brentford FC Community Sports Trust

Health Programmes Manager

British Council Head of Arts

Planning and Evaluation

British Council (Arts)

Head of Arts Evaluation

British Heart Foundation

Evaluation Lead

British Red Cross

UK Emergency Planning Officer - Performance Management

Bulldogs Boxing & Community Activities

Business manager

CENI

CG sporting enterprise

Director

CITB Corporate Strategy

Manager

CSV

Business Development Manager

CSV

Evaluation Manager

CYCALL

Director

Canon Collins Educational and Legal Assistance Trust

Learning, Knowledge and Communications Executive

Cardiff City FC Foundation

Head of Business Development

Care-Connect - University of Leeds

Impact and Innovation Manager

Catch22

Data Analyst

Celtic Bhoys FC

Secretary

Central Eltham Youth Project

CEO

Chapter (West Cheshire) Ltd

Fundraiser

ChildVision

Project Lead LL2

Children's Hospice Association Scotland

Executive Support Manager

Citizens Advice

Impact Manager

Citizenship Foundation

Programme Director

City Bridge Trust

City of Edinburgh Council

Lifelong Learning Development Officer

Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface

Organisational Development Officer

Clackmannanshire Third Sector Interface

Volunteer Development Officer

Coalition for Efficiency

CEO

Cohort 4

Founding Director

Community Action South East

CEO

Community Action Southwark

Head of Sustainability & Development

Community Furniture Aid

Secretary

Community Hertsmere

CEO

Community Rotorua NZ

Chair

Community consultants ICCCS/SCV

CEO

Coram

Head of Policy and Research

Corby VCS Ltd

Manager

Craigavon Cowboys

Head Coach

Cumnock Juniors Community Enterprise

Trustee

Daylight Centre Fellowship

Manager

Depaul UK

Outcomes Development Manager

Diana Award

Impact and Evaluation Coordinator

Disability Advice Service East Suffolk

Manager

Disability Karate Federation

CEO

Disability Peterborough

Development Manager

Drumchapel united football club

Committee member

Dundee Dragons Wheelchair Sports Club

Vice Chair

Dungannon Tigers F.C

Chair

EMERGE 3Rs

Volunteer

Eastbourne Boxing Club

Club Chairman / Senior Boxing Coach

Edinburgh Leisure

Head of Projects and Funding

Enagh Youth Forum

Youth Support Worker

Enigma Gymnastics Club

Chair/Head Coach

Evaluation Support Scotland

Express Youth

Chair

Fair Shares Gloucestershire

CEO

Falkirk Football Community Foundation

Development Manager

Families in Focus CIC

Director

FermO Orienteering Club

Club Member

Fight for Peace International

M&E Manager

Foundation

QUIP Manager

Fullcircle NW CIC

Director

Glasgow Battalion, The Boys' Brigade

CEO

Glasgow Homelessness Network

Director

Glint

CEO/Facilitator

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Educationalist

Good4you charity

Head of Legal

Greatwood Charity

Charity Fundraiser

Greencastle Rovers FC

Club Development Officer

Groundwork

CEO

HBBS

Business Manager

Harry Gregg Foundation

Trustee

Hastings Predators Floorball Club

Management Committee Member

Hear & Now

Chair

Hear Women Organization

Manager

Help Somalia Foundation

Director

Help for Heroes

Head of Evaluation and Assurance

Henshaws

PA to CEO

Her International

Co-ED

Herefordshire Wildlife Trust

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Hillfoots RFC

Junior Convenor

Ideas Test / Swale CVS

Director

Impact Hub Milan

Incubation and ventures manager

InUnity

Managing Director

InUnity

Programme Manager

Include Me 2 Club

Chair

Jags Foundation

CEO

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Lead Judo Coach

John Paul II Youth Club

Treasurer

Johns Hopkins University

International Fellow

Josie's Dragonfly Trust

Director of Fundraising

Kicks Count

CEO

Knight Consulting

Social Development Consultant

Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club

Head Coach

Knightstone Housing

Intelligence and Impact Officer

LBV

Director

LNWH Charity

Head of Charitable Funds

LandAid

Head of Programmes and Impact

Langley House Trust

Vice-Chair

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Executive Director

Leap

Workforce Development Manager

Lee Gardens Pool Committee

Trustee

Lifeshare

Operations Manager

Lifespace Trust

Director

Listenhear

Committee member

Livability

Philanthropy Manager

Live Change Changes Lives

Project Facilitator

Liverpool Hope Students' Union

General Manager

Living Streets

Monitoring & Evaluation Coordinator

Locality

Deputy CEO

London Funders

Director

London Pulse

Trustee

London Pulse Basketball

Chair

London Sinfonietta

Development Manager

London Voluntary Service Council

Head of Policy

Making Sense Trading Ltd

Director

Me too & Co

Development Manager

Migrant Workers Sefton Community

Trustee

Mind

Director of Planning and Development

Mind

Planning and Governance Officer

Motion Control Dance

Managing Director

Muthurwa Foundation

Trustee

NCVO

NI Street League

Treasurer

NPC

Communications Manager

NPC

Consultant

NSPCC

Evaluation Officer

National Deaf Children's Society

Programme Officer

National Deaf Children's Society

Programme and Evaluation Manager

National Lottery Community Fund

Newtownabbey Hearing Hub - Deaf Children's Society

Treasurer

North Belfast Harriers

Premises Officer and Athletics Coach

North Tyneside Art Studio

CEO

Northern Ireland Cross Community Angling

Club Secretary

Nova

Assembly Manager

Now You're Talking Health & Wellbeing

CEO

Oasis Domestic Abuse Service

CEO

Official Consultancy

Managing Director

Olive's Trust Pakistan

CEO

Opportunity Sports Foundation

CEO

Osterly-Associates Ltd

Director

Outside Chance

Trustee

Parkhead & Wansbeck Power Sports

Secretary

Parkhead & Wansbeck PowerSports Club

Coach

Pathcreating

Managing Director

Phase

Director

Phoenix ADHD Project

Activities Coordinator

Pobal

Impact & Evaluation Officer

Portrush Hockey club

Secretary

Prison Learning TV & Prison Video Trust

Social Impact & Evaluation Producer

Qismat

Head of Operations & Research

RDA Coleraine

Director

ROC Solid

Fundraiser

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Mindham

Rathfern company of archers

Archery instructor

Reflective Learning-International

Director

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Development Manager

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CEO

SALTO Gymnastics Club, Luton

Chair

SCRAM Health

Director

SCRAM health

Director

SVUK

Samaritans

Senior Research and Evaluation Manager

Sandy Row Community Forum

Development Manager

Scotland's Bravest Manufacturing Company

Director

Shankill Women's Centre

Centre Manager

Shaw Trust

Special Projects Advisor

Skills 4 Work Gateshead Ltd.

Development Manager

Skills for Care

CEO

Skilz Academy

Chair

Social Imp8ct

Founder

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Manager

Social adventures

CEO

Soft Touch Arts

Co-director

Solace Women's Aid

Business Development Manager

Sound friends

Treasurer

South West Foundation

CEO

Sport 4 Life

Researcher

Sported

Evidence, Monitoring and Evaluation Manager

Springtown Boxing Club

President

Spurgeons

Commercial Manager

St Matthews Project

Policy and Procedures Manager

St Paul's GAC / Naomh Pol CLG

Community Development Officer

St Peters GAC

Accountant

St. Comgall's Youth Club

Youth Worker

St. Matthew's Project

Project Coordinator

St. Matthew's Project

Project Manager

St. Matthews Project

Coach

Student Hubs

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Substance

Substance

Chair

Sunday Night support

Senior Adviser

Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF)

Executive Director

Sussex Wildlife Trust

Community Engagement Manager

Sustainable Enterprise Strategies CIC

Director

TAMHI

Mental Fitness Officer

Teenage Kickz

Coordinator

Terrence Higgins Trust

Graduate Manager

The A Project

Director

The Black Box Trust

Co-Director

The Book Bus Foundation

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The Centre Place

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The Coast Office

Chair

The Crags Centre

Co-founder, CEO

The Diana Award

Anti-Bullying Programme Manager

The Fitzone Foundation

Project Manager

The Junction Foundation

CEO

The Robert Centre

Nursery Manager

The Royal Society of Arts

Head of Project Engagement

The SROI Network

Communications Coordinator

The Somerville Foundation

National Director

The St. Johnstone Community Trust

Funding and Marketing Manager

The Survivors Trust

CEO

The Y Project

Project Manager

Tranent Cricket Club

Club secretary

Transgenerational Change Limited

Director

UNA Exchange

Long-Term Exchanges Coordinator

Uganda Networks

Management Board

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CEO

Vi-Ability

CEO

Viewpoint

CEO

Vintage Worx CDT (Community Development Trust)

Project Development Manager

Vision Housing

Development Director

Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC)

Participation Development

Voices and Choices

Chair

Voluntary Action Fund

Programme Manager

Voluntary Action Lewisham

Specialist Adviser - Ambition

Volunteer Centre Enfield

Manager

W.A.L.K

Project Director

WAVE Trauma Centre

Secretary

WCVA

WISPA - Women in Sport & Physical Activity

Project Manager

Walton Youth Project

Manager

Warwick Business School

PhD Student

West Lothian Council

Service Development Officer

Wild Earth

Director - Strategy, Development and Programmes

Women Connect First

Vice-chair

Worcester Volunteer Centre

CEO

Wyntercon

Founder

YMCA Derbyshire

CEO

Yellow Wales

Yellow Wales Manager

YiS Youth Counselling Service

CEO

York & District CAB

Treasurer

York University Students' Union

Research Development Coordinator

Yorkshire Children's Centre

Social Value Consultant

Youth Connect

Service Manager

Youth Homeless North East

Director

ZKJ LTD

Director
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