Big Lottery Fund backs think tank's impact measurement scheme with £280,000

BLF chair Peter Ainsworth says the New Philanthropy Capital initiative brings expertise on the matter into the voluntary sector

Peter Ainsworth
Peter Ainsworth

The Big Lottery Fund has given a £280,000 grant to the think tank New Philanthropy Capital to support a scheme aimed at improving impact measurement in the voluntary sector.

The grant, which will be given over three years, will support NPC’s Inspiring Impact initiative, a 10-year scheme intended to bring together practitioners, policymakers, funders and support providers to improve the way impact measurement is carried out and communicated.

The scheme’s aims include developing affordable tools that organisations can use to measure impact and providing support for organisations to advise them on the right level of and approach to impact measurement.

The BLF has also given £100,000 over two years to the innovation-promoting body Nesta for its Alliance for Useful Evidence project, which supports the use of evidence in policy and practice.

The scheme, which involves a network of people from government, universities, charities, businesses and local authorities, focuses on the use of evidence for social policy and social science.

Both lots of funding are so-called 'solicited bids', where the BLF asks specific organisations to make an application rather than inviting applications from all comers. The money comes from the BLF’s Replication and Innovation Fund, which the funder described as a "new UK-wide funding programme that aims to use the BLF’s networks and funding experience to target deep-rooted social problems".

"Over five years, the programme will fund strategic initiatives working in carefully researched and identified areas of need," the BLF said.

Peter Ainsworth, UK chair of the BLF, said: "NPC's work encompasses an array of organisations with a wealth of experience and reach in the voluntary and community sector, while Nesta is encouraging social policy interventions that are based on robust evidence.

"There is no shortage of effective practice, but there is a real need to improve the quality of evidence and its use in decisions about resources and policy."

The BLF also announced today that it had given a share of £11.5m of funding to 45 organisations under its Reaching Communities programme, which offers grants of between £10,000 and £500,000 to organisations that help to build stronger communities and help people in need.

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