colourful lanterns

2016 catch-up: Our year at a glance

By Leanne Bennett 22 December 2016

January. We began 2016 with a big focus on measurement, publishing four short briefings on a range topics, as well as a bumper piece on how charities can approach qualitative research.

February. As more uncomfortable headlines about the charity sector emerged, we commented on the government’s announcement that all grant agreements will include a clause to prevent money being used by charities to lobby for policy changes—as well as how charities could take a novel approach to fundraising.

March. Reflecting on our work to measure the impact of leading impact investors the KL Felicitas Foundation, this blog tackled the problem of attributing impact to specific funders and interventions.

April. We published our work with a collaboration of leading health charities to help showcase the voluntary and community sector’s role in shaping health and care system reform.

May. As one NPCer put it‘We place a great deal of value on using evidence… But within that, we do have a bit more of a nuanced view.’  Find out what that view is through our guide to proportionate and meaningful evaluation designPlus: We kicked off a seminar series with the Bulldog Trust about how funders can work more effectively, including addressing the thorny issue of power, and how greater collaboration can help.

June. In one of our biggest reports of the year—Giving more and betterwe started a discussion about how we can unlock additional philanthropy in the UK, and improve its impact. PlusRead our response to the Brexit vote.

July. As headlines about Europe’s refugee crisis kept the issue at the forefront of our minds, we mapped the UK’s refugee and asylum charity sector for anyone looking to help. Plus: We published the first output of our State of the Sector programme, Boldness in times of change, which rethinks the charity sector for the future.

August. In one of our most popular blogs of the summer, NPC’s CEO Dan Corry reflected on how the social impact bond agenda is coming along.

September. Building on our popular 2010 publication The little blue book we launched What makes a good charity?, our latest thinking on what it takes to be an effective charity today. It is a practical guide to charity analysis for individuals, trustees, funders as well as charities themselves. Plus: We began our working leading the Impact Management Programme, which aims to help charities and social enterprises increase their social impact and diversify their income.

October. Our trailblazing conference NPC Ignites brought together leaders from the sector and beyond to help charities and funders step back from their day-to-day work and plug into the latest thinking. If you missed it catch up via this blogPlus: We responded to the Lords Select Committee on Charities’ review into charity sustainability, both in writing and in person.

November. A big month for data! We published our work on how funders can use data to improve their grant-making. Meanwhile, we made some progress on our Data Labs programme—which aims to unlock government administrative data for the charity sector. Plus: In this report we explored how charities can best harness the views and needs of their beneficiaries in order to improve their impact.

December. As the festive season was fast approaching, we reflected on over a year’s research into faith-based charities. PlusWe brought together some insights on how charity trustees can go above and beyond for the organisations and beneficiaries they serve.

Thanks to everyone who helped make it a great year. See you in 2017, when we’ll celebrate our 15th anniversary!