Last week, Economic Change ran an event where attendees from the voluntary and private sector attended to discuss and learn about different ways to prove your impact to public sector commissioners. The consensus on a need to demonstrate impact and record performance data was unanimous – in this day and age any organisation that wants to survive needs to do so.
The speakers including Heather Black from Economic Change, Ioanna Rossi from The Green Mark, Anke Winchenbach from NEF Consulting, and Nick Temple from SEUK shared their thoughts on how to best demonstrate impact to this specific group of people. The shared top tips from speakers included:
- Practice what you preach – demonstrate that your internal policies related to social, economic and environmental goals are accountable, in-action and are independent evaluated where possible – Don’t let them just be a piece of paper. Look for relevant certifications that can verify and audit your impact. For example, Ioanna spoke about organisations who have gained the Green Mark certification, to show their environmental policy has been audited and is practiced in reality.
- Be transparent and accountable – implement tools and systems to collect, analyse and present data real-time so the commissioner has confidence in your processes and systems to measure impact and report on it as needed. You can even provide ready access to data to commissioners and other stakeholders via a secure login. At Economic Change, we use Salesforce CRM to help clients put in a robust monitoring system. Contact us for a free demo of Salesforce.
- Understand commissioner requirements – understand the economic, social and environmental priorities and indicators of interest to the public authority in question. Nick Temple, from SEUK encouraged attendees to find out if the authority has a social value act policy and to encourage them to comply to this legal requirement. Find out more about the Social Value Act here. Demonstrate you understand their priorities and explain how you will contribute towards them within your tender. To find out more about communicating your impact within a Theory of Change model or Logic model, attend our Impact Measurement workshop to find out more.
- Communicate stakeholder value – To complement commissioner interests, don’t forget to share any additional indicators you have identified around your specific stakeholder goals. Demonstrating that you understand what your stakeholders value and what they want to achieve could also give you extra points.
- Demonstrate return on investment – Where the commissioner is looking for value for money, an SROI study might be useful to show the proposed financial return generated from an investment in your services. This financial return may be generated in various ways, from fiscal cost savings, economic returns or social benefits. To find out more visit Social Value UK or attend SROI training with NEF.
- Put together a structured and accountable impact measurement process that meets the needs of your priority stakeholders– at Economic Change we advocate there are six building blocks to measuring impact effectively –
- Be clear on your social, economic and environmental goals and desired outcomes
- Define your indicators for each type of outcome and present them within a logic model or theory of change model.
- Decide on a set of data collection and monitoring tools that suit your stakeholders.
- Implement a robust system to collect and analyse your data real-time.
- Review the analysis of your data and use it to review the performance of your service delivery, business strategy, and stakeholder relations on a regular basis.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the impact framework on an annual basis and revise as necessary.