Impact measurement improvement body starts today

Inspiring Impact Group launched alongside report by Tris Lumley

Tris Lumley, author of Inspiring Impact report
Tris Lumley, author of Inspiring Impact report

A new group set up to improve impact measurement and make it part of the core activities of charities over the next 10 years will be launched today.

The Inspiring Impact Group will consist of representatives from organisations including the National Council for Voluntary Organisations, Acevo, the Office for Civil Society, Big Society Capital, the Big Lottery Fund and the think tank New Philanthropy Capital.

A new report on impact measurement published today by NPC says the group will initially publish a 12-month action plan, which will include "clarifying what good impact measurement looks like, campaigning to change the attitudes of leaders in the sector, setting up online resources and making tools more accessible".

Inspiring Impact, written by Tris Lumley and Benedict Rickey of NPC and Matthew Pike of the online impact reporting system Views, says the main conditions are in place for an impact focus to become the norm.

"Growing numbers of funders and charities are putting money into collecting evidence of impact and improving their services as a result, but significant issues remain," it says.

The group was formed after a meeting of 30 leaders in the field of social impact measurement in September. The report outlines some ideas put forward during this meeting, and the leaders’ plans for improving impact measurement over the next 10 years.

The report says the leaders want to see impact measurement embedded across organisations, rather than remaining a peripheral activity.

It says that to improve impact reporting there needs to be better incentives for charities to measure their impact and more funding invested in it.

Gareth Davies, head of the Office for Civil Society, said in a statement that it was essential to tackle the issue of social impact measurement if the social economy was going to grow.

"In 10 years’ time I want consistent social impact measurement to be a routine part of doing business for organisations, commissioners and investors," he said.

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