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The range of information available on approaches to projects is vast and can be bewildering. It is worth investing some time in researching what is right for your project. Here we provide a selection of information that can be useful. If you want to spend more time researching a wider range of materials, go to further reading.

Charities Evaluation Services (CES)

What is it?

Charities Evaluation Services is the UK's leading provider of support and resources on quality and evaluation systems for the voluntary sector. CES's publication "Your Project and its Outcomes" was the original document from which BIG developed its outcomes approach and subsequent guidance.

What can it offer?

Assessing Change: Developing and using outcomes monitoring tools  - this is a practical handbook that helps organisations to collect information on the outcomes of their work and to track the difference they are making, including whether to design a bespoke monitoring tool or use one of the many that are already available.
 

Triangle Consulting and the Outcomes Star

What is it?

Triangle is a social enterprise which enables organisations to take an outcomes approach. Triangle creates and manages a suite of tools called the Outcomes Stars.

What can it offer?

The outcomes stars are a suite of tools to which both support and measure change for projects working with people over time. They measure progress for service users receiving support in order to maximise independence or achieve other goals. There are different versions of the Star for different sectors (e.g. homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and young people).
 

Evaluation Support Scotland

What is it?

Evaluation Support Scotland works with voluntary organisations and funders so they can measure the impact of their work. It provides practical support and access to resources and tools.

What can it offer?


As with CES, it provides a useful starting point, particularly for groups based in Scotland. The website includes resources including tools, case studies and on-line training. 
     
   

Community Evaluation Northern Ireland

What is it?

CENI supports the voluntary and community sector to use monitoring and evaluation to prove its value and improve its performance. It is the region's only dedicated support body on evaluation.

What can it offer?

As with CES, it provides a useful starting point, particularly for groups based in Northern Ireland. Services include training and support, information and advice and research and development. The website provides details information and resources on evaluation including publications and research reports.
 

Knowhow Nonprofit

What is it?

A resource provided by NCVO that provides information on running a voluntary organisation. The website has a section on monitoring and evaluation.

What can it offer?

A summary of key terms and resources and so a useful starting point.
 

nef

What is it?

nef (the new economics foundation) is an independent think tank and is creating new approaches to value and measurement. nef's approach focuses on a 'triple bottom line' where returns from investment are evaluated by their longer-term social, environmental and economic returns. These can be used across the public, private and third sector. nef works with a number of tools to measure and account for value, including Social Return on Investment (SROI). It is responsible for a website proveandimprove.org which includes a quality and impact toolkit for charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprise.

What can it offer?

proveandimprove.org includes a tool decider for performance management, which includes impact, as well as elements on data collection and analysis.
 

   

   

New Philanthropy Capital

What is it?

New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) is a consultancy and think tank dedicated to helping funders and charities achieve a greater impact. It provides independent research, tools and advice for charities and funders, both here in the UK and internationally.

What can it offer?

NPC's services for charities include independent advice, bespoke research and practical support, particularly in relation to reviewing strategy and measuring impact. It's website contains a host of free resources and it runs a regular programme of events.

NPC's Well-being Measure
NPC runs an online tool for organisations to evaluate their impact on the well-being of young people aged 11 to 16. To find out more visit www.thinknpc.org/
 

 

NCVO Strategy and Impact

What is it?

Founded in 1919, NCVO is the largest umbrella body for the voluntary and community sector in England with sister councils in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

What can it offer?

NCVO has a section on its website entitled 'Strategy and Impact'. This includes tools, techniques and resources related to impact. NCVO is currently funded by BIG to run a 'Value of Infrastructure' Programme which includes training on impact for infrastructure staff and trustees; development of a common impact framework for infrastructure and new online tools and system to help infrastructure organisations to assess, track and compare the changes brought about by their work.
 

Local support organisations (NAVCA)

What is it?

NAVCA is the national voice of local third sector infrastructure in England. NAVCA's website includes a directory of members and lists local and regional infrastructure organisations in England. This includes all NAVCA members that operate on a district-wide, county-wide or region-wide basis.

What can it offer?

Many local infrastructure organisations can provide advice and support on outcomes, monitoring and evaluation.
         

Locality

What is it?

Locality is the leading nationwide network of settlements, development trusts, social action centres and community enterprises. They help set up locally owned and led organisations and support existing organisations to work effectively through exchange of knowledge on community asset ownership, community enterprise, collaboration, commissioning support, social action, community voice, community rights and regeneration.


What can it offer?

Locality runs a project called Impact  that helps community organisations to prove their holistic value and measure the overall impact they have on their local area – information which is key to funders.
 

The Guild

What is it?

The Guild is an independent consultancy with over 20 years’ experience in working with voluntary and community organisations and social enterprises.  It is a practical tool that helps organisations to work out how best to find an approach to measuring impact that is realistic and proportionate to their needs.

What can it offer?

The guide provides an introduction to the subject of impact measurement, explaining the different methods on offer and how they relate to each other, followed by exercises that help organisations to make choices based on reasons why they want to measure impact, what resources they have available and what data they already have.  It then gives introductions to 19 of the leading impact measurement, quality systems and outcomes tools.


The Guide is available free in electronic format.  To get a copy email services@the-guild.co.uk and put sendguide in the subject line as one word.  Hard copies are also available.
 

Your Value!

What is it?

Your Value! is Community Matters’ new online social value tool that helps your organisation to demonstrate its social, economic and environmental impact. Your Value! builds a profile of your organisation’s contribution to its community and collates the evidence and data about your organisation into a smart report that you can give to funders and other stakeholders to help you show them your real added value.

What can it offer?

Your Value! will help you make the connection between social value and key public policies, such as community cohesion, worklessness or sustainability.It gathers facts and figures about your activities and presents them in a way which is smart and informative for funders, government and stakeholders.It stores information about your activities which can be used for funding bids and other reports which require evidence based on need, activities, value and impact. It will help your organisation reflect upon and review its current activities for future planning and monitoring purposes
         

Views Impact Reporting System

What is it?

Views is an impact reporting system, delivered by research group Substance in partnership with BT. It is simple to use, highly flexible and affordable for small as well as large organisations. Organisations can use the web-based service to collect, analyse and report on a wide range of operational, performance and impact data to different stakeholders, audiences and funders.

What can it offer?

Views supports a whole range of impact reporting tasks including:
  • Storage of data about the people you work with; 
  • Recording of details about the projects and programmes you deliver; 
  • Upload of media files and documents; 
  • Generation of reports for different audiences; 
  • Creation of bespoke questionnaires and surveys; 
  • Statistical processing and generation of charts to visualise your data; 
  • Linking of outputs to outcomes, to evidence your impact contribution; 
  • Calculation of the cost of achieving specific outcomes; 
  • Comparisons of the performance of different services. 
Views 2.0 will be launched in January 2012, offering further upgrades, including enhanced correspondence, reporting and work management tools as well as access to a store of third party evidence-gathering and visualisation tools.


The Big Lottery Fund is trialling the use of Views with its Realising Ambition programme. Other organisations will need to buy the resource, and can gain a 10% discount and access free webinar support for impact measurement by quoting ‘BIG’.
       

 









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