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Helping grantees focus on impact North East Funders Forum Sept 2011 Tris Lumley 7 September 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Helping grantees focus on impact North East Funders Forum Sept 2011 Tris Lumley 7 September 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Helping grantees focus on impact North East Funders Forum Sept 2011 Tris Lumley 7 September 2011

2 2 Social impact—what does it mean to trusts and foundations? Your impact Against your mission/vision Against your specific objectives Aggregating impact from grant-making Your grantees’ impact Against their mission/vision/objectives Against their reporting requirements to you

3 3 Funders are part of a cycle (& system)

4 4 What I’ll cover today What approaches might help to increase your grantees’ (& your own) impact focus? Providing support to grantees (Funder Plus) Developing your own impact focus/capacity Supporting the field -Shared impact measurement -Harmonising reporting frameworks NPC believes impact measurement has to be centred on and driven by the charity if it is to really add value

5 5 A Funder Plus impact approach Almost all funders ask grantees for results information: two-thirds always do. Funders do not think that charities’ monitoring and evaluation work matches their requests for results information. NPC, National Performance Programme 2010-11

6 6 A framework for thinking about support 1.What are your aims for providing support? 2.What are the principles of your approach? 3.What barriers will you encounter? 4.How will you measure what your support achieves? 5.What’s the right support package for you?

7 7 What are the principles behind your approach? Do you want to make the support mandatory? How flexible do you want the support to be? How involved do you want to get? Answers to these questions will be determined partly by the resources you want to devote to the support and the needs of your grantees.

8 8 What are the barriers to helping grantees through support? Resistance to evaluation Challenges of measurement Embedding monitoring and evaluation into practice Multiple reporting (and support) regimes

9 9 How can charities overcome barriers to impact measurement? We don’t…Solution … have the money or time Do evaluation internally at low cost Show evaluation saves staff time … have internal pressure to measure Chief executive and trustees become measurement champions … have staff who believe in measurement Link measurement to the charity’s values, link back to helping beneficiaries … have staff who think we can measure our impact Convince staff of the need to measure … have the right measurement expertise Get external evaluators to deliver evaluation Train staff in measurement Hire staff with measurement skills … know what to measure Be clear about aims and objectives of intervention Research indicators of success Get advice from external experts We don’t…Solution … know how to measure Use proven measurement tools Start with data that is simple and quick to collect … have the right data Tailor data collected to your needs Make data collection part of the service process … know how to analyse the data Use experts to analyse and interpret data Review literature on ‘what works’ to identify ways to improve the service … know how to communicate findings Focus on analysis relevant to audience Avoid technical language … have funders interested in impact Find funders who support grantees to evaluate and respond to charities’ needs Convince funders to pay for complex evaluations

10 10 We found there are common steps towards a strong impact approach

11 11 A Funder Plus approach to impact might look like this… What are your aims in providing support? Measure your impact Improve reporting Understand success Build grantees’ skills Diagnosis of grantee needs/capacity What are the principles behind your approach? Mandatory or optional? Flexible or standardised? Get involved or stay hands off? Consider barriers and set expectations What does your support package look like? For example: Training Internal or external evaluation Provide support Measure impact of support

12 12 Developing your own approach An impact approach isn’t just about measurement Planning—strategy, programme design Operations—applications, selection, grant-making Monitoring & evaluation—reporting, grantee support on impact measurement Review—analysis, learning, knowledge sharing How much resource do you want to put into developing your own impact capacity and expertise?

13 13 What does effectiveness mean for foundations? 1.What’s the problem you’re trying to address? 2.What do you do to address it? 3.What are you achieving? 4.How do you know? 5.How are you learning and improving?

14 14 What does effectiveness mean for foundations? To answer the questions you’ll need 1.Clear objectives 2.Defined strategy to achieve them 3.Track progress towards them 4.Gather evidence of progress/impact 5.Review, learn, improve and communicate

15 15 What is an effective foundation?

16 16 A family foundation began its journey by experimenting with what worked

17 17 A venture philanthropy foundation strengthens effective charities

18 18 Effectiveness means… Clear objectives Foundation’s vision & mission Defined programme areas Defined strategy to achieve them Grants? Playing active, public role as foundation? Strengthening charities & sector?

19 19 Effectiveness means… Operating principles focused on impact Identify effective charities aligned with objectives Appropriate type of funding Smart processes Support to improve grantees?

20 20 Effectiveness means… Track progress Reporting framework designed to help charities capture what they need on impact Gather evidence of progress/impact Big picture—is the needle moving? Grantees’ impact Foundation’s impact

21 21 Effectiveness means… Review, learn, improve & communicate Are foundation’s objectives being met? How can the approach be improved? How can grantees/sector improve? Communicating foundation’s impact

22 22 Supporting the field So you can support grantees and/or build your own impact capacity—what else can you do? Trusts and foundations can lead and define a great deal of charities’ behaviour How can your frameworks improve the sector? -Programme criteria -Application processes -Reporting requirements We believe charities need to be encouraged to measure their impact together

23 23 What does shared impact measurement look like? A B C D E F NeedsOutcomes Shared measurement, and harmonised reporting, possible for the same interventions

24 24 Shared impact can also mean impact networks A NeedsOutcomes B NeedsOutcomes C NeedsOutcomes From this:

25 25 Shared impact can also mean impact networks ABC To this: OutcomesNeeds Shared measurement is also possible for chains of interventions (and this is how the world really works)

26 26 Questions? What barriers do you face around impact? What would be helpful to you to make progress? Could shared measurement/harmonised reporting work for you? Could you commission impact networks?

27 27 Tris Lumley Head of Development Tel: 020 7620 4883

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