The impact of volunteering
If an organisation uses volunteers, it is just as important to gather feedback from them as it is to gather feedback from those recognised as the ‘service users’. Our evaluation work for Pilotlight, for example, has demonstrated that there are many similarities between the change experienced by those delivering the support (business leaders) and those receiving the support (charity leaders).
How does a capacity building organisation measure success?
The starting point for measuring success for a capacity building organisation is the same as it is for a frontline service organisation - understanding the difference it is trying to make. In this blog for Pilotlight, Anna summarises how tracking activity and gathering feedback from stakeholders has helped identify the set of indicators currently used to measure change for charities supported through the Pilotlight Programme.
Looking for Change in the Right Place
We have delivered annual workshops for Pilotlight’s business volunteers to build their understanding of measurement in the charity sector and improve their effectiveness in supporting the charities they are partnered with. Pilotlight project manager, Hannah, summarised the learning from one of these events in a subsequent blog.
Building an approach to self evaluation
In 2016, we wrote a guide for The Communication Trust on: ‘Building an approach to self evaluation’. This is aimed at small voluntary and community sector organisations delivering children’s speech, language and communication services and can be downloaded from the Trust’s new ‘developing and using evidence’ page
Good Science, Bad Governance
Anna’s extensive work with second tier membership organisations has given her particular insight into the challenges facing small and medium sized charities with measurement. In this guest blog for the Communication Trust she argues that a ‘good governance’ approach to evidence is more appropriate for small voluntary and community sector organisations than a ‘good science’ approach.
Take control of your impact
During training sessions, Pilotlight project managers often report to us that the charities they are supporting are reluctant to identify key outcome measures for fear that they will no longer match the requirements of a particular funder. Anna addresses this issue in a guest blog for Pilotlight.
The Language of Measurement
Pilotlight’s business volunteers often think social impact measurement is something specific to the third sector and beyond their skills set. Charities tend to think that market research has no relevance to them and their stakeholders since they are not in the business of ‘selling’. The reality is that social impact measurement, like market research, is a core part of the strategic planning process. We see our work with Pilotlight as helping the two sectors to speak the same language.
What is qualitative research and how should charities use it?
The value of qualitative research is often overlooked or misunderstood by the charity sector. Yet qualitative methods, which aim to provide a deeper understanding of the values, attitudes, motivations and behaviours of individuals and target groups, can be essential in helping to understand the impact of their services.