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  • Monitoring outcomes of helplines

    Milla Gregor, associate consultant for NCVO Charities Evaluation Services, shares her experience of monitoring and evaluating helpline services

  • Designing an outcomes framework to measure impact

    How small charity Elfrida Rathbone Camden developed an outcomes framework for evaluating the effectiveness of their work.

  • How to measure success on social media

    There is no point doing anything on social media if you aren’t looking to get results. Whilst this may sound complicated it’s actually pretty simple. A six-step process is all you need to measure success.

  • How to improve your social value/impact measurement

    This is a brief guide to improving the measurement of your organisation's social value or impact. Not only is this helpful for demonstrating the value of your organisation's activites to funders or investors, it is also useful for improving your service delivery. It is likely that you are already doing some aspects of this process. Read on to find some practical steps on how you can improve.

  • How to map & analyse the needs of your local area

    Whether you are new to an area, or have been working there for years, it is easy to assume you know the needs of the local community, and are responding in the most appropriate way. However, needs change over time, and the needs of the ‘usual suspects’ who can be expected to respond to surveys and attend events don’t necessarily align with the needs of the community as a whole. The examples below show ways in which Fair Share Trust Local Agents can map the needs of the local area, and explore difficulties grant makers could face.

  • Using evaluation findings for communicating with trust funders

    Laura Alcock-Ferguson, director of the Campaign to End Loneliness, shares how the charity used their evaluation findings as a critical tool in subsequent funding applications.

  • How to use creative reporting formats for evaluation

    If you’ve gone through the effort of planning an evaluation, collecting your data and analysing it, you will want to make sure your findings are used. You could use them to improve your work, communicate to funders and donors or engage external audiences. Communicating your findings in a way that will encourage people to read them and take action is crucial.

  • How to use your evaluation findings to improve your work

    Evaluating projects, programmes – or even the work of your whole organisation – can be a transformational step in making sure the work you do is of the highest quality, making it as effective as possible, based on robust evidence. Without a focus on improvement and learning, evaluation becomes a tick-box exercise; something that has to be done to please someone else. Used effectively, your findings can shape the work you do in the future and focus attention on how to achieve your intended outcomes and impact. In short, it can bring you closer to realising the change your organisation wants to see.

  • How to share your evaluation findings with funders and donors

    A prime audience for your evaluation findings is likely to consist of people who have directly – or indirectly – supported your activities. Over the last 10 years, the voluntary sector has seen huge changes in the way it is financially supported. NCVO’s UK Civil Society Almanac  notes the switch from government grants to government contracts – resulting in big changes in the way charities report and account for their progress. The biggest giver to the voluntary sector is the general public. Over half of all voluntary sector income comes from individuals – through buying services, regular donations, one-off causes or legacies. Sharing your evaluation findings with the organisations and individuals that fund your work isn’t just about bureaucratic reporting; it is our collective responsibility to account for how we spend other people’s money and to demonstrate that it is has been used well. Your evaluation can also be a powerful tool for attracting further funding.

  • How to use your evaluation findings to engage external audiences

    One of the key principles in Inspiring Impact’s Code of Good Impact Practice (pdf, 496KB) is for organisations to share findings and learning. This takes you beyond an impact culture within your organisation to a collective impact culture with others. It is about celebrating success, reflecting on obstacles, and extending your learning to those who have a shared interest in the impact you’re trying to achieve. Sharing your evaluation findings can be exciting for you and your organisation. If you have a positive story to tell, it can be a moment of celebration of your achievements and the work you have done. If things haven’t gone as you expected, there is a still a lesson to be shared: what happened, what you learnt, and what you’re going to do next.

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