Funders, commissioners and investors

Funders, commissioners and investors can provide incentives to grantees and investees to measure their impact by embedding a focus on impact in funding decisions, and building in monitoring and evaluation costs to their funding. But they can also think about how they measure their own impact.

ACF is leading Inspiring Impact’s work with funders. Work with investors and commmissioners is also underway, as part of, or linked with, Inspiring Impact.

Read about current projects under this theme below.

Funders for impact

Many funders are already thinking about how to address the impact measurement challenges they and their grantees face. But not enough is known about good impact practice, and what this means across the diverse trusts and foundations sector.

Inspiring Impact will support funders to improve their practices around impact measurement and help more funders adopt an impact approach. A working group, Funders for impact, will explore and develop ideas around supporting the impact practices of grantees and investees, and understanding their own impact.

We plan to publish a version of the Code of Good Impact Practice specifically targeted at funders alongside the Code for charities. Find out more about the launch event in June.

Social investors

Social investors face many questions around measuring the social impact of  investments, and how their investees should measure their impact. For the social investment market to develop to its true potential, these questions need answers.

Inspiring Impact’s work on social investment is supported by the City of London Corporation and Deutsche Bank. Within the programme, we are consulting with investors in developing our approach and resources, for example in the Code of Good Impact Practice and impact diagnostic. Social investors’ perspectives are feeding into the development of two common impact frameworks within the shared measurement strand of the programme..

Inspiring Impact aims to align and link with other initiatives in this space, including the work being led by Big Society Capital to explore  investors’ perspectives on impact and develop a common view, guidance and principles. This work, delivered in partnership by Investing for Good, the SROI Network , and New Philanthropy Capital will help social investors adopt consistent and coherent approaches, and deliver greater social and financial returns through their investments.


Commissioning practice has a huge impact on the way many charities and social enterprises monitor and report their impact. Some charities and social enterprises are rising to the challenge of increasingly results-based commissioning, but there are concerns about the consequences of new types of contract, such as payment by results.

Inspiring Impact is keen to engage with commissioners to talk about the best way to commission whilst not excluding effective charities and social enterprises. We are actively seeking out commissioners who are working towards outcome- and impact-based commissioning to work with. If you are interested, please get in touch.