6 ways to get started with social investment

on 26 June 2015

Social investment still appears on the ‘too difficult’ pile for many charity leaders and trustees, but it’s not going away. We know it can be daunting, so we’ve put together a list of six ways to get started.

James Noble headshot

7 practical tools for improving your outcomes and impact

on 14 May 2015

7 fabulous tools: from creating your theory of change to measuring well-being.


In a muddle about reserves?

on 15 January 2015

Anxiety about reserves was palpable at NPC’s trustee seminar on finance and accounts. Attendees wanted a precise formula for the right level of reserves; but the panel cautioned that there is no one size fits all. Here are some of my thoughts.


Our thinking on theory of change: for funders

on 12 December 2014

Earlier this year I blogged about the benefits of theory of change for funders—for developing strategy, communicating how and what you fund, and supporting learning and evaluation. Today I’m glad to say we have now published Planning to make a difference, which sets out how funders can go about realising these benefits.

Tris Lumley

Our thinking on theory of change: for charities

on 11 December 2014

Since NPC first began to explore theory of change, it has become a core component of our work. We have found it to be enormously useful in helping charities and funders to articulate what it is that they do and why. To mark the recent publication of two new guides, here is the first of two blogs on theory of change.


A vision with a plan can change the world

on 13 November 2014

As the old proverb goes: ‘A vision without a plan is just a dream. A plan without a vision is just drudgery. But a vision with a plan can change the world.’ More than just a clever saying, this has practical truth too. Because that’s what strategy is all about: having a vision, and then coming up with the means to actually implement it.


Basic questions an impact report should answer

on 20 October 2014

Someone I know recently read a charity’s impact report and set up a regular donation as a result. She said the fact that the charity reflected on its shortcomings, and made plans to address them, played a major part in her decision. Asking a few basic questions before writing your impact report will help you establish how and what to communicate.


Closing in on change: Measuring the effectiveness of your campaign

on 4 September 2014

Campaigning is a powerful tool for bringing about social change, but it is a risky pursuit for many charities, involving as it does the spending of often scarce time and money on activities for which success is far from guaranteed. Measuring the impact of your campaigning will raise your confidence in pursuing this course, as well as fulfilling your responsibility to assess whether—and how well—your strategy works.

James Noble headshot

How can we make evidence easier?

on 1 September 2014

NPC and Project Oracle have joined forces to create a series of videos and an interactive presentation that starts to show you how to develop an appropriate and effective approach to evidence. The presentation covers four main areas.


Show me the money: giving grants to individuals

on 21 July 2014

When I think of charities, I think of the complex organisations that many have become—providing advice and services or mounting campaigns to influence public opinion and policy. Giving people money (charity in its simplest form) isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. And yet personal grants are still an important option for people in need and there are lot of organisations that still provide them.


How to become an impact driven organisation

By Hannah Mitchell
on 18 June 2014

Hannah Mitchell from vInspired shares her top tips for becoming an impact driven organisation, following her presentation at our Measuring outcomes conference.

James Noble headshot

Evidence athletics

on 30 January 2014

Evaluators like to develop ‘standards of evidence’ which rate studies in terms of quality and validity—and charities are encouraged to improve what they do by going through them. However the kinds of improvements suggested are not always achievable, or even the most worthwhile changes to make. So, as an addition to these standards, we suggest some more basic principles for charities to think about when collecting and reporting evidence.