Today marks the ten-year anniversary of the UK-wide initiative Inspiring Impact, when I, along with 29 other leaders in the field of social impact measurement, met at an ‘impact summit’ to discuss what was needed to improve the quality of impact measurement across the social sector. We set out our vision for a future where a focus on impact was the norm among charities, funders, and social enterprises across the UK. From this summit, the ten-year Inspiring Impact programme was born and it quickly gained funding.

Proud accomplishments

Looking back over the years, with NPC as lead partner for the programme, Inspiring Impact has helped deliver some of the vision set out at that summit and the programme has so much to be proud of. We’ve tried and tested different approaches for improving capacity and skills in the voluntary sector, and developed guidance and principles of good impact practice for charities and funders. At the very heart of the programme has been our free online resources, such as Learn to measure (available through our website www.inspiringimpact.org), and our free peer learning networks, which help charities, funders and social enterprises plan, understand, and improve their impact. Over the ten years, we’ve sought to listen to the needs of the sector and have tailored our offer in response.

When I think about how the programme has inspired me, I immediately think of the energy, passion and commitment that various people have brought to the programme—from our funders, to our delivery partners, our impact champions, and most importantly all the individuals and organisations who have engaged with and participated in our activities and learning events. I also think of how Inspiring Impact, in more recent times, quickly responded to the needs and worries of charities and social enterprises during the coronavirus pandemic, helping to provide tailored resources and opportunities for online peer learning. This support was invaluable to many, providing a useful sounding board for the big questions that organisations were faced with.

Evaluating Inspiring Impact

As we mark this important milestone for Inspiring Impact and we begin preparations for the closure of the programme in early 2022, NPC—as lead partner—has commissioned an independent evaluation of the programme. The evaluation seeks to better understand what difference the programme has made on improving impact practice in the sector and capture and share learning from the programme. Findings from the evaluation will be shared early next year and we will inform you of our plans for bringing the programme to a close and protecting its legacy in due course.

We invite charities, funders and social enterprises from across the UK to give us your feedback on your experiences of the Inspiring Impact programme through our end-of-programme survey. Whether you’ve used our resources, come to an event, or if you were a partner or impact champion, we want to hear from you. If you haven’t heard of Inspiring Impact, that’s fine too—we’d like to hear your views on impact practice in our sector. The deadline to complete the survey is Monday 11 October and it can be accessed here: https://surveys.thinknpc.org/s/InspiringImpactEvaluation_b/

Inspiring Impact has come a long way in ten years and, thanks to this programme, so has impact practice in our sector. As the programme comes to a close, we want to build on the learnings and legacy of Inspiring Impact. Complete the above survey to help us understand how we can continue to improve impact practice into the future and enable us to fulfil that vision first set out ten years ago: a sector where a focus on impact is the norm among charities, funders, and social enterprises across the UK.

As @Inspiringlmpact comes to a close, this blog shares some of the programme's proudest accomplishments and asks you to share your views on impact practice in our sector: Click To Tweet

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