New Economics Foundation launches guide on measuring wellbeing of beneficiaries

Juliet Michaelson of the think tank says wellbeing indicators provide a better understanding of charities' impact

Juliet Michaelson
Juliet Michaelson

A new guide aims to help charities measure how their services improve their beneficiaries’ lives.

Measuring Well-being: a guide for practitioners, from the think tank the New Economics Foundation, is intended to hlp them gauge their impact on wellbeing.

NEF hopes that charities and voluntary groups will use it to gain a better understanding of their beneficiaries’ needs and assist in improving the design and delivery of projects, improve fundraising efforts and help direct services towards those most in need.

The guide gives advice on how to set up a wellbeing survey, what questions to ask and how to make best use of the results. It also provides a data comparison calculator to allow organisations to compare their results with national and regional average responses.

Juliet Michaelson, senior researcher at the foundation’s centre for wellbeing, said: "Policy makers’ growing focus on wellbeing indicators presents a huge opportunity for third sector organisations. These indicators can help provide a better understanding of the impact that charities and community groups have on their service users and demonstrate the value they add.

"Wellbeing measurement remains daunting for a number of third sector organisations but it need not be," she said. "Our recommended approach brings together best practice and benchmarking data to make wellbeing measurement accessible and straightforward for smaller charities and community groups."

NEF has worked with the Big Lottery Fund for the past three years as part of the BLF’s Well-Being programme, which has invested £160m in deprived areas to help improve residents’ mental and physical health.

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