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Big Lottery Fund announces £600,000 for Inspiring Impact

  • Big Lottery Fund grant hailed as a ‘vote of confidence’, with new 3-year programme planned to build greater collaboration across the charity sector
  • Funding will focus on bringing together organisations working on the same causes, especially smaller charities, to develop good impact practice together
  • Announcement made as new NPC report shows positive influence of Inspiring Impact so far

The Inspiring Impact programme, which brings together big names across the sector and is managed by NPC, will receive £600,000 from the Big Lottery Fund over the next three years. The programme is a coalition of the Association of Charitable Foundations, the Building Change Trust, Evaluation Support Scotland, Substance, Charities Evaluation Services, and NCVO.

The funding will be used to expand the reach of the free tools and resources developed in the first phase of this programme since 2012, and to develop ‘impact champions’ who will spread best practice to national organisations across the UK. New ‘impact champions’ include the Money Advice Service and Citizens Advice.

News of funding comes at the same time as Inspiring Impact publish a new report, Building a movement, written with Charities Evaluation Services, which evaluates the influence of Inspiring Impact so far. The report finds that:

  • More than 40,000 visits to the Inspiring Impact website since June 2013
  • 97% respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the site was useful. 63% said they would recommend it to others
  • Over 1,700 have signed up to the Measuring Up! tool, launched in June 2014 to help charities self-evaluate their impact

Tris Lumley, Director of Development at NPC, said:

All of the Inspiring Impact partners are delighted with this vote of confidence from the Big Lottery Fund. Our long-term ambition is to see a real shift in the sector, towards more collaboration than ever before. We’ve always known it’ll take a long-term programme to build a real impact movement, and that noone can achieve it alone, so this funding will help us take the next big step forward.’

David Carrington, Chair of the Inspiring Impact Programme Board, said:

This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole sector. As donors and charities alike grow more canny about measuring and celebrating the impact of their work, this programme can give them the support they need’.

Pete Bailey, Head of Knowledge at the Big Lottery Fund, said:

Understanding impact is of growing importance across the civil society sector, allowing organisations to learn, refine and improve what they do. We’re pleased to be supporting the development of this important and collaborative project, helping charities, funders and social enterprises better measure the difference they have made to their beneficiaries and wider society’.

Using Inspiring Impact case study—
Sported and St Paul’s Gaelic Athletic Association

Sported works with more than 3,000 community group across the UK which use sport to change young lives, by addressing anti-social behaviour, relieving rural isolation, strengthening community cohesion, and more. The majority of these groups are very small, with fewer than five paid staff, and are new to measuring the impact of their work.

From the outset, Sported has used Inspiring Impact tools to support and respond to the needs of its members, through providing training sessions, individual meetings, and one-on-one advice and remote support on using Measuring Up!. As a result, all 20 of the Sported member groups involved in the Inspiring Impact N.I pilot have pledged support for the Code of Impact Practice, and to date 16 have completed Measuring Up!.

One of these groups is St Paul’s Gaelic Athletic Association in Belfast. The impact measurement tool has ‘helped us identify who we are and what we offer as an organisation,’ explained their Community Development Officer Jim McGreevy. And it has helped make the charity sustainable, too: ‘Our organisation has used the tool to great effect during a grant application in February 2015. The funder could clearly see what we need the financial assistance for from the information provided through the Measuring Up! tool

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