Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Our Impact!

I suspect now more than ever, there needs to be a sharper focus on the impact we achieve.

Our friends in New Philanthropy Capital - Martin Brookes ACEVO member - have produced a social impact manifesto. Click here

The recommendations could help Government to invest in what works and also save money they argue. One scheme NPC put forward, for example, has the potential not only to save Government £150m per year, but also to reduce the current reporting burden on charities.

The manifesto has six recommendations:

1. Government should introduce an Impact Fund to help charities measure their own impact.

2. Spending Departments should coordinate the development of standardised frameworks for impact measurement.

3. Government should publish the evidence it collects from charities in the same way that it publishes other public services performance data.

4. Government should support the provision of good quality information to help philanthropists focus on effectiveness.

5. Government should promote the development and take up of good quality philanthropy advice.

6. Government should build sustainable partnerships with philanthropists.

Now all this is focused on what Government should do. But what do we need to do? It's crucial we start developing ways to measure, and the shout about, how we add value through our work.

And a brilliant example of this is provided by the St Giles Trust, Rob Owen, ACEVO member, is the exemplar CEO. They commissioned Frontier Economics to research impact. Their report, launched Monday, has been heavily peer reviewed by some very senior economists c/o Pro Bono Economics, both public and private. It is now so battled hardened and bomb proof it's unreal. But uniquely credible for it.

The findings are staggering for a such a pilot done, for the first time, at scale.

So St Giles' work demonstrates re-offending rates drop by a whopping 40%.

The savings to the state are equally dramatic. For ever £1 invested within one to two years the real and direct savings equate to a return of between £10 - £34.

Our third sector has a genuine solution to the country's re-offending £12 billion pound problem. But at the moment MoJ spend just 2% of their budget on commissioning services from the third sector. I shall pose this issue to George Osborne on Thursday.

Rob is a member of the Social Investment Board and so I saw him to congratulate him tonight. We had a good Board. Some knotty problems, both in terms of some investments and wider issues of governance, but against a background of real achievement. Jonathan reported on an employee engagement survey which reports strong satisfaction levels among staff.

And finally, a quote courtesy of Sunday's Observer:

"Champagne makes you feel like it's Sunday and better days are around the corner"

Marlene Dietrich

1 comment:

Martin said...

Stephen
Thanks for mentioning our manifesto. NPC is also involved with Pro Bono Economics in that I am a founding trustee of PBE and NPC has helped incubate it.
Martin