Impact Management – Why we have taken this approach
- Pathway for Impact
Through our consultation, impact emerged as a critical area of support. Specifically, responses highlighted:
- the different needs and expectations of delivery organisations, advisors/consultants and consumers of impact reporting (investors, grant funders, government)
- the common inability of organisations to efficiently collect and respond to the data they require, using systems which are flexible, well-understood and valued by their staff
- the lack of clarity and consistency as to how impact reporting is used in investor/commissioner decision-making processes
- the gap between what delivery organisations could/should capture and report for their own performance management, and what is required by investors/grant-makers for their own monitoring and evaluation.
“There are two main gaps in capacity: 1. Capacity for measuring and reporting on social impact. Many organisations still struggle to collect the information that they ‘need’ to report to their funders. 2. Capacity for managing and maximising social impact. Very few organisations are collecting the information that they need to help them make decisions about how to improve their service. This is also about a lack of capacity to implement and embed useful systems for data collection.”
Ben Carpenter, Social Value UK
The self-service pathway component of this programme is designed to address these issues, through developing a self-service approach to getting charities and social enterprises started on their ‘impact journey.’ As well as reducing the ‘unit cost’ of support, our aim is also to support the development of shared, standard approaches, which are well understood and valued by both charities and social enterprises and investors, commissioners and grant funders.
- Impact for Growth
While the ‘market for impact’ is less well established for lower levels of social investment, larger investments and commissioning present a range of opportunities for charities and social enterprises in which a high quality impact proposition can already offer them a competitive advantage. This is particularly the case those looking to take part in social investment-backed Payment-By-Results contracts (Social Impact Bonds).
The demand for this type of support is evidenced by the Impact Readiness Fund (IRF), both rounds of which have been heavily over-subscribed – it has also been suggested that projects delivered over a longer period would allow for greater organisational development.
“A longer term focus on improving impact measurement could benefit many different organisations.”
Chris McBride, Social Investment Business