On 28th March, we hosted our second in-person event in our thought provoking ‘New Perspective Series at the Royal Society for Arts, London.
Our special guest for the event was Dr Colin Habberton, Co-Founder of our partners Relativ, who explored the subject of how to turn your organisation's impact into a tangible asset. It was a pleasure to have so many different organisations in attendance and to have the opportunity to discuss the practical elements of creating a Theory of Change model and implementing an internal structure for measuring Impact.
In order to fully flesh this subject out, we first defined what we mean by an ‘asset’...
“An asset is a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation, or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide a future benefit.
… Assets are reported on a company's balance sheet. They're classified as current, fixed, financial, and intangible.” Source: Investopedia
We then unfolded that in order for an organisation to measure its Impact, it first needs a clear roadmap which can be used to identify its starting point and then where it is going. Attendees were encouraged to honestly consider the following question...
‘Is your organisations ‘roadmap’ currently fit for purpose?’
Our next point was to highlight that in order to measure the impact you are having, you have to measure the same outcome over two distinct periods of time, so that you can see the change that has occurred in that time - that is your impact. Additionally, a top trick in establishing purpose, is to start with the end in mind - what positive impact do you want your organisation to achieve over all, and then work backwards.
Defining impact for value creation was the next key area. This is a case of asking a lot of searching questions to all stakeholders and involving everyone in the process to obtain buy in. Then once the right questions have been asked and a detailed Theory of Change model has been agreed to, and drawn up, it can become a tangible asset! It can then be used as a very effective tool to put in front of serious funders to help obtain future funding to help you further your impact. By measuring your impact in this way and then presenting it back to your stakeholders, it creates a fantastic opportunity for growth and development, but it does also require you to be brave, honest, thoughtful and inclusive in your approach.
It’s important to note that there is a global shift happening in stakeholder reporting - one that's moving towards stakeholders wanting to know more about the why of your organisation and how much positive impact it’s making in the world. And conversely, fundamental accounting principles are changing to include this. So, measuring your impact is about creating a common language within this. Think of this common language as your organisations hymn sheet. Your song - something that the whole organisation sings from.
A Theory of Change model can apply to multinationals, academics, start-up, charities and more.. You can even apply it on an individual basis to help guide the impact you want to personally have. For some live examples, check out the Golf Trust or Lucy Rayner Foundation case studies.
The Golf Trust - Theory of Change
Please reach out to us if you are interested in exploring these methods for evaluating your impact or you feel your organisation would benefit from developing a Theory of Change model. We would be happy to organise a call to discuss your specific needs.
We can also support you in creating your Case for Support which is also a very valuable tool when applying for funding, especially in an uncertain economic climate. If this is something you are interested in discussing, we would love to hear from you.
There are a multitude of creative ways to access funding and Ethical Good are eager to support impact-driven organisations with reaching their goals, so if you would like to speak to our consultants about New Perspectives to funding, then get in touch today!
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It was truly inspiring to network in a room full of people committed to doing Good. If you are interested in attending our next Ethical Good - New Perspectives event, please sign-up here.