January 16th, 2018 / Insight posted in Articles

Government acknowledges that all charities should be seeking independent evaluation of their impact

Back in March 2017, the House of Lords Select Committee on Charities released a report recommending that:

“All charities should be seeking independent evaluation of their impact on their beneficiaries, in order to ensure that they are delivering for them and to demonstrate this to beneficiaries, funders and the public.”
(Recommendation 12)

This is a promising recommendation and, if followed, should lead to improved charity practice and greater transparency and accountability to those groups that really matter – direct beneficiaries.

It was therefore encouraging to see the government welcome the above recommendation in their response to the report, released on December 19th 2017. The government went on to refer to the importance of taking account of evidence of impact in commissioning decisions, and stated that “charities that can evidence their impact and value for money will be in a stronger position to successfully bid for contracts.”

This acknowledgement is a reassuring confirmation that the government approves of independent impact evaluation, and encourages its use in public sector commissioning decisions, as well as in demonstrating the effectiveness of a charity.

This point is often one of the most important reasons why our clients come to us for impact in the first place: to understand how well they are delivering their services, to enable management decisions on existing services and the design of new services and to report this back to their funders, the public and – most importantly – the people they want to help in the first place.

However, we have higher aspirations for what an understanding of impact can offer to a charity.

At its best, successful impact measurement should be embedded into the day to day functions of a charity and regularly reported on. Not just a one off report that showcases the work of the charity, impact measurement should be a continuous process allowing the charity to keep track and monitor over time how best it creates social value. The ability to make future judgements about how impact can be increased can only be achieved if a robust and credible impact measurement system is in place.

This vision of impact measurement goes to the core of what the KSFM offer is about. We work closely with clients to ensure that the results from impact measurement projects will be put to good use. We’re committed to a view of impact measurement as a strategic tool to enhance the work that charities will do in the future, as well as a way to showcase the work they are currently doing.

So if your organisation is serious about the potential of impact measurement, why not get in touch about our popular free, no strings attached, two hour consultation session with our impact experts? Just drop us an email at impact@mks.co.uk.