What we do
All across the country, passionate people work incredibly hard to try to make life better for groups living in the margins of our society. Our work aims to increase the positive impact of their work.
We help these organisations to understand, measure and communicate their impact. This means gathering information and feedback from a range of sources through desk research, interviews and surveys, and then using our knowledge and experience to provide useful, practical advice and insights.
Our clients are charities and organisations that are trying to make life better for people. We also work with businesses that share our values and have a social purpose beyond making money.
The value we bring
We help social purpose organisations to work out what they are doing well – and should do more of – and where they need to make change. This helps them to be more efficient and effective which, in turn, allows them to make a positive difference to more people’s lives.
We support organisations in the following practical ways:
- Help them work out which of their activities are making the most difference so they can prioritise;
- Deepen their understanding of the people they are helping, their needs, and existing evidence of ‘what works’, so they can make their services more useful and relevant;
- Understand where they sit in the eco-system of support so they can focus on their organisation’s unique contribution and improve their collaborative working
- Provide stories and case studies that help to communicate the good work they do, encouraging new supporters;
- Demonstrate the value of what they are doing, and the positive impact they are having on people’s lives, helping to win new sources of funding.
How we work
We work in partnership with social purpose organisations. We aim to be a ‘learning partner’ or critical friend, meaning we are on their side but are not afraid to ask tough questions and be challenging when we think that it will be helpful. We conduct our projects hand-in-hand with our clients so we can be certain that the information we collect is the information that they really need, presented in a way that will make the most sense and be the most useful. If you’re looking for a dry, academic evaluation at the end of a programme , we are not the agency for you.
“Anna and Charlotte's approach to impact evaluation is thoughtful, incisive and thought provoking. The charity sector would be in a much better place if it listened more openly to the ideas and concepts they present.”
"I have found it so helpful that we are working with a long term evaluation partner. We understand our impact and we learn as we go, in terms of building quality into our work from start to finish. The constructive rigour and independent thinking of Cornish Grey is a brilliant offer for anyone who wants to be part of a learning organisation."
"Cornish and Grey gave us invaluable support at Pause, not least pulling the key data together to help us articulate our impact in a quick and simple way"
"We have worked with evaluation specialists before, but working with Anna brought some real light bulb moments. As a result of her recommendations, we have re-written our mission and aims and now have a clear, simple framework in place for evaluating and communicating our success in meeting them."
“I would highly recommend Anna and Charlotte. They took the time to really understand what support we needed and helped us show the impact of our project clearly and effectively. They have been extremely adaptable and flexible in the light of COVID and have almost become part of our team.”
Who We Work With
We specialise in helping charities think about how they might deliver greater impact, either commissioned directly, or through a Funder Plus programme. We work across themes and user groups but have particular experience working with charities supporting the following:
- People in crisis including those who are destitute, homeless, caught up in the criminal justice system, or have No Recourse to Public Funds eg. Pause and Voices in Exile
- People living with a disability or long term health condition eg Positively UK and Dementia Adventure
We also work with ‘place based charities’ using sports, arts, peer support or community centre facilities to improve quality of life in their community.
Through our work with infrastructure organisations connecting business and charities we have a deep understanding of keys to success for pro bono support and how businesses can work with the charity sector to help achieve their organisation’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives. Our long term partnership with Pilotlight, for example, has included work for corporate partners including Morgan Stanley and Barclays.
Through our work with public engagement experts Liminal Space, we are working as a central learning partner to the businesses involved in their Night Club engagement programme for night shift workers – in 2021/22 this includes Aldi, Essentia, GXO, TFL and Veolia.
Health and social researchers are increasingly needing to think about social impact too and how to achieve the goals set out in their public engagement strategies. Our work to evaluate Wellcome funded programmes has grown into an increasingly significant body of work for academic organisations.
In 2021/22, we have worked as a learning partner to researchers and public engagement teams at The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute (THIS) at the University of Cambridge, the Livestock, Environment and People (LEAP) programme at the University of Oxford, and the Wellcome/EPSRC Centre for Interventional and Surgical Sciences (WEISS) at UCL.
We share your values. Cornish & Grey is a social consultancy which means that we run our business in a way that aims to do good.
As we often work with charities, one of our driving principles is to be great value for money to ensure their hard-earned funds are being put to the best possible use. In fact, we turn work away when we think the proposed approach is impractical or disproportionate.
We regularly offer our services pro bono to very small charities where the funding structure is not yet in place to support them.
Who We Are
Anna is an impact strategy consultant with a wealth of experience of research for commercial, government, academic and third sector organisations. With a BA in Psychology and five years spent at a qualitative research agency specialising in strategic research to improve health outcomes for communities experiencing inequalities, she is particularly aware of the importance of adopting participatory approaches to evaluation, gathering stakeholder feedback to learn and improve, and combining the collection of statistical data with other evidence such as case studies to help organisations ‘tell their story’.
Charlotte is a solution-focused strategic researcher. Over her career she has helped organisations make change happen, whether as a leader or consultant. She graduated with a BSc in Biochemistry and has had a career in quantitative market and social research, and economic trends analysis and forecasting. Since 2015, she has focussed her skills on the third sector working with charities and public sector organisations, helping them see that measuring their impact is more than a tick box exercise. She has considerable experience of different ways of ‘quantifying’ social value.
Our Delivery Partners
Public engagement partner
In 2019, we started working with The Liminal Space - a unique consultancy that helps academic research deliver impact through the development of innovative and inspiring arts experiences to engage a wide range of audiences in its findings. The Liminal Space’s overall mission and culture sits very closely with ours and we are excited to be working on helping them develop and deliver a range of public engagement projects in 2020 for the Wellcome Foundation and Guys and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust.
Insight and foresight partner
Charlotte worked alongside Trajectory’s Founders at the Henley Centre in the early 1990s and has worked alongside them ever since as colleague, partner and associate, now in the role of non-executive director of Trajectory. Cornish and Grey joint working with Trajectory increases our capacity for delivering large scale mixed method research and consultancy projects, and projects that demand consumer trend insights.