Published21st January 2014
Transformation should be the dominant lens of the social sectors. Yet in practice it isn’t! Most approaches to measuring impact start from a financial point – count the money; follow the money; act like its money. But the principles of finance do not apply easily to transformation. Transformation is deeper, longer-lasting and much, much more tied up with the complexities of communities and the unpredictability of human life. The Transformational Index goes to the heart of how an organisation can genuinely achieve transformation – the thing it exists to do.
Our hope is that the TI could help organisations seeking social change to overcome the twin perils of either not measuring at all, or of measuring the wrong things, badly. Instead, we want to offer a way of combining evidence with story in the context of a community of organisations learning from each other. At its best, this could enable users to fundamentally improve the quality of all of their work – to the benefit of all of those people who need and use their services, and the sector as a whole.
We achieve this by providing a workshop that helps an organisation articulate the specific nature of it’s impact and help develop a method and approach towards impact measurement. The workshop results in a report and infographic that enables organisations to both learn from, and also communicate, the impact they are having. We help facilitate communities of learning and practice where organisations can learn from one another, collaborating around best practice for impact and transformation.
The work involves four stages: preparation, a workshop, a report and infographic, and joining a community of learning and practice (optional). (1) We ask the organization to send us any written summary of what it is seeking to do, such as a statement of mission, vision or values. We also have a short questionnaire for team members to fill in individually before they participate in the workshop. (2) We run a workshop with the core team of an organization. This typically lasts about three hours, depending on the size of the group. The workshop uses the TI to help the group describe how it seeks to have an impact (the underlying components of and model for transformation) using a forced ranking exercise. Our facilitators use this as the basis for identifying and prioritising meaningful measures of impact, in discussion with the group. (3) We provide a summary report of the workshop, including a simple framework for tracking the chosen impact measures, together with further comments or actions. We also prepare an infographic to summarise the measures visually. (4) The organisation then joins (optional) the Transformational Index community of learning and practice which facilitates creative learning and collaboration around impact, measurement and best practice for social change.
Follow up support is currently available on a consultancy basis. Please ask! Based on the Transformational Index workshop and report, we have provided support for investment readiness, fundraising, and organisational development. We also work with funds and foundations, measuring the impact both of the fund’s aims and also the particular projects that have received funding.
- Resonance Ltd
- Leicester Diocese Growth Fund
- Wokingham School's Trust
- Vital Regen
- The Woman's Health Initiative
- Imagine Foundation