Impact round-up: December 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of our monthly impact round-up. Each month at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services we summarise the latest news in impact and evaluation and share useful guides, resources and data collection tools.

Approaches to measuring personal wellbeing

The What Works Centre for Wellbeing has published findings from a rapid evidence assessment of impact evaluations that use the personal subjective wellbeing measures from the Office for National Statistics. Known as the ONS4, these measures look at life satisfaction, happiness, our sense of feeling worthwhile (purpose), and anxiety.

The report identifies and summarises impact evaluations that have used the ONS4 since they were first introduced in the UK in 2011. It also looks at who is using the measures and why. Take a look if you are considering using these measures, or want to find a way to measure whether your organisation has an impact on wellbeing.

Data collection on a small budget – new Inspiring Impact podcasts

Last month we told you about the conversations we’d been having with small organisations about the challenges of covid-19 and how they are adapting to better understand the difference they are making. A series of podcasts from our conversations are now live on the Inspiring Impact website. Listen for some ideas on how to collect and use data on a small budget.

Exploring principles of coproduction

The National Lottery Community Fund has published an interesting blog on principles of co-production. Based on a recent event, it summarises reflections from Fulfilling Lives Lambeth Southwark and Lewisham, South Yorkshire Housing Association and Fulfilling Lives Sheffield on embedding lived experience in co-production and on co-production in service delivery, research, learning and impact.

Separately, Esmée Fairbairn are working with their Involving Young People Collective to embed young people’s insights into their work. Read more about what they’re doing from one of the young people involved.

New resources to help funders measure their effectiveness

The Association of Charitable Foundations has published a new report on five cross-cutting themes from its Stronger Foundations initiative. Five cross-cutting themes: Mission, Knowledge, Power, Accountability, Connection highlights key themes that run through the initiative, which ACF hopes will inspire foundations to pursue and achieve ambitious and effective practice.

ACF has also launched a new self-assessment tool for its member foundations to measure their own effectiveness in areas including impact and learning, diversity, equity and inclusion, strategy and governance, and investment.

If you haven’t already seen it, take a look at the Stronger Foundations Impact and Learning report, published earlier this year, which outlines how work around impact and learning can contribute to stronger foundation practice.

Also in the news and on the blogs

Training and events

We have launched new accessible and affordable online courses, focusing on key topics including funding, governance, strategy and volunteering. We will ensure your learning needs are met through interactive, live sessions with knowledgeable trainers – with discounts for NCVO members (Not a member? Find out more).

Here’s what’s coming up:

We can also come to you! Our courses can be delivered virtually online, providing an affordable way to train groups of staff, trustees or volunteers. Contact us for more information.


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Avatar photo Harriet is a senior consultant at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services – the team helps voluntary organisations, volunteering programmes and their funders with practical impact measurement and evaluation.

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