2011 has been a jam-packed year for the charity sector. There have been plenty of challenges, with many charities facing uncertain futures as funding dwindles. But there have been many positive and creative responses to the changes the sector is experiencing too, which we have seen amongst our clients and other charities we have worked with.

And at NPC we’ve had a few big developments of our own. Among the many reports we have published, events we’ve held, articles we’ve written and speeches we’ve made, a few things in particular stand out.

We helped launched the Social Impact Analysts Association
Together with Bertelsmann Stiftung and the Addessium Foundation, NPC has been working since 2009 to establish a new professional body to connect and support social impact analysts worldwide. This year, the organisation finally came into being, and started accepting its first members. In December, the Social Impact Analysts (SIA) Association officially launched in London with a conference attended by people from around the world who share a passion for social impact analysis. You can see videos from the day and read about what was discussed and the future of SIAA on their website.

We’re talking about social investment
This is a relatively new area for us, but one which we are keen to learn more about and help charities to understand how it could help them be more effective. We had a fantastic response to our guide for charities, Best to borrow, which aims to help them decide whether social investment is right for them. Social investment seems to be the buzzword of the moment, and while we don’t want to sing its praises too much (after all, it is just one of many funding options available, and it does have to be paid back!) we think it has a lot to offer the sector when used appropriately, and could help some charities in the face of funding cuts from traditional sources.

We’re helping you to measure well-being
This year we were also very proud to launch our Well-being Measure, an online tool which uses a questionnaire to help charities measure their impact on the well-being of the 11-16 year olds they work with. We’ve already got a host of charities and schools signed up and using it, and we’ve had some great feedback. We hope the tool can help charities to prove the worth of the intangible outcomes they achieve. Find out more on the Well-being Measure website, or come to Third Sector’s Soft Outcomes Event and hear Well-being Measure founder John Copps explain more.

Last but not least, we’d like to thank all of you for reading our blogs, downloading our reports, coming to our events and sharing your views about what we’re up to. We hope all our readers have a wonderful Christmas, and a happy new year—see you in 2012! 

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