Inspiring impact: Working together for a bigger impact in the UK social sector

In September 2011, 30 leaders in the field of social impact measurement came convened at an Impact Summit, where they discussed how to embed impact measurement throughout the UK social sector. This report sets out the results of that discussion, and sows the seeds for the development of Inspiring Impact.

On 23 September 2011, 30 leaders in the field of social impact measurement came together for an Impact Summit. We discussed how leadership and collaboration could make impact measurement part of everyday practice for thousands of charities, social enterprises, funders, commissioners and investors.

The starting point for discussions was simple: more social organisations need help to focus on impact, using measurement to demonstrate achievements and improve their work, ultimately changing more lives.

A focus on impact is increasingly becoming the norm. Growing numbers of funders and charities are putting money into collecting evidence of impact and improving their services, but significant issues remain. In particular, measurement is often not as robust as it could be, and results are too rarely shared.

Together, the participants at the Impact Summit believe we can do more to accelerate the improvement of high quality impact measurement. In the process, we could help thousands more social organisations to improve.

Inspiring impact sets out the current state of impact measurement in the social sector, and outlines how the participants in the Impact Summit plan to inspire change and increase the focus on impact to help more charities and funders use their resources effectively to make the most positive difference.

 This report’s call for clearer standards and principles of impact measurement, so that charities and social enterprises know what’s expected of them, is very welcome—as is its plan to make tools available online at low cost, which would make it easier and cheaper to collect useful data.

The Baroness Stedman-Scott OBE, Tomorrow’s People

Find out how this research is being taken forward at