As a programme about impact measurement, we take measuring our own impact very seriously. This throws up many questions. How do we attribute practical change back to Inspiring Impact? How do we ensure we have long-term impact? What indicators should we use? Our position as a capacity-building programme—working with organisations rather than directly with beneficiaries—makes measurement complex.
Our approach is based on our theory of change. A theory of change describes the change a charity or social enterprise wants to make, the steps involved in making that change happen, and the assumptions involved. We have developed a theory of change for Inspiring Impact which sets out how our five different themes combine to achieve our long-term outcomes. To enable us to monitor our outputs and short-term outcomes we have also developed a theory of change for each project under our five themes.
We will monitor our activities and outputs to ensure we are moving towards our short-term outcomes, collecting data on things like event attendance, report downloads and website visitors.
We will monitor short-term outcomes to ensure we are working towards our long-term outcomes, for example through surveys of organisations involved in the programme.
We will monitor our long-term outcomes through sector-wide surveys, building on the results of NPC’s impact measurement survey conducted in summer 2012, which we will use as a baseline.
All eight Inspiring Impact partners will provide monitoring reports to the Inspiring Impact Board every six months to help us assess whether we are making the progress we should be. We will produce an annual impact report summarising our achievements and drawing out lessons for Inspiring Impact, and for capacity-building programmes generally, which will be published on this website.