22 March 2012

A new major research project will explore how charities in the UK are measuring their impact

Impact measurement has come a long way in the last decade, from niche interest to an integral part of many charities’ everyday operations. But despite the many anecdotes to suggest charities are serious about measuring the difference their work makes, there is little comprehensive data to back this up—we don’t have a clear enough picture of how many charities in the UK are actually measuring their impact, what they are measuring, how they are doing it and what barriers they face.

NPC, NCVO, ACEVO, CES and TSRC are carrying out a major research project to dig deeper into questions around how charities are measuring impact. Building on CES’ pioneering research in 2007/2008 into monitoring and evaluation practices among UK charities, we are now conducting a second survey to look at impact measurement practices in more detail. Over the coming months, we will be working with Ipsos MORI to conduct a representative survey of the whole UK charity sector, built on 1,000 telephone interviews with charities. We want to build up a clear and detailed picture of the current state of charity impact measurement in the UK, from attitudes, to approaches and methods, to barriers to measurement.

We will circulate our findings in a report which will be available to download for free. The research is being funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the City Bridge Trust, The Northern Rock Foundation and The Paul Hamlyn Foundation.

Ultimately, we hope that the results of the survey will help charities to measure better. By exploring what barriers there are to charities measuring their impact, the sector can work together to overcome these stumbling blocks, and help all charities demonstrate and increase the difference they make.

Look out for a phone call in the next few months, and don’t miss your chance to tell us about your experiences and views.

For more information contact Fegus Lyon or Malin Arvidson