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15 VCS organisations embark on social impact measurement programme

With funding from the Big Lottery Awards For All fund to carry out a pilot programme of Social Impact Measurement (SIM) in Suffolk during 2015/16, CAS is pleased to announce that 15 voluntary & community sector organisations from across Suffolk have now begun the process of measuring social impact, with the aim of developing a best practice model for Suffolk to be endorsed by local authorities, commissioners and grant funders.

The project will culminate in full research into effective methods for SIM and a ‘recommended’ best practice model for Suffolk. 15 ‘need driven’ organisations are taking part to measure the impact of the following categories: grant funding, volunteering, whole organisation effectiveness, department effectiveness, commissioned projects or projects funded by numerous sources of income.

The programme launched in November 2015 with the organisations coming together for the first time to attend a workshop led by Community Action Suffolk and The Guild. Organisation representatives heard all about the importance of SIM and why it is becoming a fundamental part of organisation development, how to start planning their impact measurement and what the pilot programme is aiming to achieve.

During this year, these organisations will be going through the whole process of SIM, its highs and potential lows (although we hope there won’t be many!) and will be reporting back to key stakeholders, including commissioners and funders. CAS will evaluate the pilot on completion by all 15 organisations and present findings to key partners.  This will give us a ‘best practice model’ for SIM which will be launched in November 2016 to the voluntary & community sector, key funders and commissioners.

Lord Young’s review of the Social Value Act (Feb 2015) states: “At present… social value measurement lacks generally accepted techniques, standards (i.e. so that people know what to measure and when), and clarity around what commissioners want to see.”

This programme is not about a ‘one size fits all’ model; but helping organisations through the whole process from start to finish and ensuring the method of measurement they choose is the right one for them and their needs, but also gives useful and ‘fit for purpose’ information.

For further information on any aspect of the programme, please contact:

Hannah Bradley, Senior Development Officer – VCS Economy & Enterprise
hannah.bradley@communityactionsuffolk.org.uk
01473 345332