The Inspiring Impact programme
Read about Inspiring Impact, a UK-wide programme which ran from 2011 to early 2022, to support good impact practice in the charity sector.
What was Inspiring Impact?
Inspiring Impact had the aim of increasing the impact of charities and social enterprises. It was developed in recognition that poor quality information can hold exceptional organisations back from creating the change they want to see.
Inspiring Impact supported people who work or volunteer for charities and social enterprises to better understand how their activities are connected to change on the ground, to identify opportunities for learning and improvement. The project was funded by The National Lottery Community Fund (TNLCF), as well as other grant funders, throughout its existence. NPC was the lead partner for the programme and was supported by a range of other delivery partners across the UK.
Since the closure of the programme, many of the resources which previously lived on the Inspiring Impact website have moved to new homes, on the websites of the programme’s partners. Most of the resources have been rehomed by NPC and can be accessed from this page. Additional links to specific resources can be accessed from the table below.
The cycle of good impact practice
|The code of good impact practice
|Various impact stories and case studies
|The websites of NCVO, SVUK, ESS, WCVA, and Elevate NI|
With Inspiring Impact closed, NPC, as lead partner for the programme, commissioned an external evaluation. This was undertaken in 2021 by a team of experienced evaluators. The findings of this evaluation are presented on this webpage. We hope that the findings will be shared and taken on board across the sector and applied to the development of future initiatives.
You can also read more about the activities and support provided by Inspiring Impact and the partners who delivered it across its three funding phases below.
Phase 1 (2012-2015)
In Phase 1, the initial focus was to develop a range of free, tangible tools, resources, and guides for the sector. Key activities included the launch of the ‘Code of good impact practice’, the ‘Measuring Up!’ tool , the ‘Blueprint for shared measurement’, and the ‘Funders’ principles of good impact practice’.
Key delivery partners in this phase included: the Association of Charitable Foundations (ACF), Building Change Trust, Charities Evaluation Service (incorporated into NCVO in 2014), Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS), NCVO and Substance. Additionally, an independent Chair, David Carrington, was appointed to oversee the programme.
Phase 2 (2015-2018)
In Phase 2, Inspiring Impact aimed to increase awareness and use of the resources alongside continuing to support organisations to develop their impact practice. In this phase, Impact Champions were recruited to be part of a network of organisations promoting the Inspiring Impact vision, and sub-sector partnerships were formed with network organisations that were willing to support smaller organisations in their sector (e.g. mental health or sport) to improve impact practice.
Delivery partners during this phase included: NPC, ESS, Welsh Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), Inspiring Impact Northern Ireland, CES (NCVO), Substance, and ACF.
Phase 3 (2018-2021)
The aim of Phase 3 was to build online and offline networks and continue developing and delivering online tools and resources. Key activity included: a relaunch of the Inspiring Impact website with a new data diagnostic tool, peer learning events led by partners across the four nations of the UK, and support for adapting impact practice in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Delivery partners for this stage of the programme included NPC, NCVO, SVUK, ESS, WCVA, Community Evaluation Northern Ireland (CENI), and Community Development and Health Network (CDHN).
The cycle of good impact practice
‘Impact practice’ is what an organisation does to plan, understand, communicate, and improve the difference it makes in the world. The cycle of good impact practice takes you through the key steps that are involved, with practical resources and advice throughout.Find out more