Charity Support, Advice, Impact Measurement, Philanthropy Impact – NPC

Inspiring Impact looks forward

By Ellen Harries 22 January 2014

The Inspiring Impact programme continues to work hard to change the way the UK voluntary sector thinks about impact. Managed and delivered by eight organisations, including membership bodies and measurement and evaluation experts, the aim of the programme is to make high-quality impact reporting the norm for charities and social enterprises by 2022.

As you can imagine, we wait with bated breath for NPC’s Impact Leadership conference where we’ll be showcasing our latest resources and meeting others who agree that making an impact is just about the most important thing that charities, social enterprises and funders can do.

Now in its second year, here’s a quick recap about the programme and our upcoming plans.


NVCO co-leads Inspiring Impact’s Leadership strand. After a long consultation with the sector, NCVO produced the Code of Good Impact Practice in June last year. The response has been fantastic: many charities have signed-up to support the Code, and it’s been incorporated into impact training delivered by measurement and evaluation experts all over.

NCVO is currently:

  • organising targeted forums for organisations who are working to improve their impact practice;
  • working on a report to share the learning from these forums with the sector;
  • promoting Inspiring Impact at the Big Assist, NCVO’s trustee conference and NCVO’s sustainable funding conference; and
  • delivering training sessions on impact.


ACEVO co-lead Inspiring Impact’s Leadership strand,  producing ‘Are you leading for impact?’ last year. The guide explains why leaders should improve their impact practice, alongside case studies of those  already working to plan, understand and improve the impact they have.

ACEVO’s current activities include:

  • Action Learning Sets in the north of England;
  • an Inspiring Impact session at the ACEVO annual conference; and
  • promoting the products of the Inspiring Impact programme to its members.


ESS leads the Inspiring Impact programme in Scotland. In the first year, ESS released a Good Practice Case Study Report of three organisations in Scotland with pioneering approaches to impact measurement, supplemented by a series of events to raise the profile of the programme in Scotland. ESS also organised an Inspiring Impact workshop at the Gathering, the largest third-sector conference in Scotland.

The current activities of ESS include:

  • running an event with ACOSVO for chief officers to further generate debate and interest in impact leadership;
  • releasing a report on how funders and charities measure their impact and organising a workshop on this with the Scotland Funders Forum;
  • establishing a ‘champions network’ of impact leaders; and
  • organising another Inspiring Impact workshop at the Gathering.


NPC programme manages Inspiring Impact and leads on the Shared Measurement strand, as well as engagement and communications. We produced Blueprint for Shared Measurement, looking at the benefits and challenges of a shared measurement approach, then applied it to the youth unemployment sector in a second report, The Journey to Employment.  We are now working to:


ACF leads on the Funder strand of the programme. Last year, ACF convened the ‘Funders for Impact’ working group, which produced the Funders’ Principles and Drivers of Good Impact Practice. The Funder Principles were launched alongside the Code of Good Impact Practice and outline what funders who are leading the impact agenda should be doing. This year, ACF is:

  • delivering impact training as part of the ACF Professional Development Programme;
  • promoting the Funder Principles at workshops with funders and funders’ forums across the UK; and
  • staying in touch with the Funders for Impact working group.

Inspiring Impact will be live tweeting from the conference, and you can follow what’s happening on the day using #impactconf2014. And if you’re there in person, do come and say hi!