News

Case Study – Sported Gets ‘Fit for Impact’

Inspiring Impact NI has been providing support over a two year period to a range of VCSE organisations to ‘embed impact practice’ – a range of actions you undertake to help your organisation remain focused on learning, improving and being more impactful. Sported are one of those organisations and we asked them to tell us what embedding impact practice means for them. Read more here

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Vote for Our ‘Getting the Balance Right’ Video

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We need your help! Inspiring Impact NI has entered the ‘Getting the Balance Right’ video in the Better Together Video Story Competition for nonprofits organised by the Wheel. Our video summarises some of the challenges faced and potential solutions in relation to capturing the impact of Government investment in voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations in Northern Ireland. Voting is open now until 8 December 2016 and you can vote once every 24 hours. We would appreciate your support to help raise awareness of our work and good impact practice. Think smarter, think together, think impact! Please vote here 

 

 

How Well Do You Demonstrate Your Impact?

New tailored versions of Measuring Up! – our impact readiness tool – have been developed to help you review and improve your impact practice.

Measuring Up! is designed to help charities and their funders reflect on how well they plan and deliver their work and whether or not they are having the maximum impact.

The new tailored versions have been developed to specifically help funders and smaller and volunteer-led organisations. They will enable you to undertake a health-check on the key steps required to achieve and articulate your impact.

As you work through the self-assessment a concise picture will be generated outlining your strengths and weaknesses across each area. An action plan can then be downloaded to help you improve on those key areas of your practice.

The online tool comes with guidance on how it should be best applied and who should be involved in order to get an accurate picture of how well you are doing. The questions or indicators are divided into four sections: plan – do – assess – review to reflect the structure of the impact practice cycle.

Aongus O’Keeffe, Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader said:

“We are delighted to add two new bespoke versions of this invaluable resource to help support the VCSE sector and their funders in Northern Ireland.  We would encourage all organisations and funders of the VCSE sector to sign-up to Measuring Up! and make a commitment to improving how you think and go about demonstrating the difference your work makes.

Measuring Up! can be accessed here.

 

Inspiring Impact NI Scoping Study examines public sector ‘readiness for outcomes-based funding’

report coverSo we know that Government has committed to an outcomes approach in the new Programme for Government. But what needs to happen to ensure the public sector is practically ready to deliver on this commitment? That was the theme of Inspiring Impact NI’s most recent Impact Exchange event at which we recently launched this report at Girdwood Community Hub.

We commissioned this study to explore the practical challenges facing public sector funders in introducing an outcomes-based approach to funding the VCSE sector, and to make recommendations about what needs to happen for this approach to be effective.

The report outlined findings across three key areas…

pdf for website

… and made three headline recommendations:

123 recommendations

Marking a key stage in the roll out of Phase 2 of the Inspiring Impact NI Programme, the event brought together a range of public sector and VCSE representatives to explore these issues.

Aongus O'Keeffe, Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader, Edgar Jardine and Brenda Kent, CENI at the launch the Embracing Change report.
Aongus O’Keeffe, Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader, Edgar Jardine and Brenda Kent, CENI at the launch the Embracing Change report.

Speaking at the event, Aongus O’Keeffe, Programme Leader, Inspiring Impact NI said:

“Inspiring Impact NI is delighted today to host this important and topical event as we move to the next stage of our plan for transforming how VCSEs and funders think about and demonstrate the impact of the work”.

“Although the study found that a gap exists between the vision for an outcomes-based approach and its potential operational delivery, we believe that given the right motivation, leadership and commitment by both the public and VCSE sectors to invest in change that there is considerable potential to address this gap.”

Brendan McDonnell, Director, Community Evaluation NI said:

“CENI is delighted to deliver the Inspiring Impact NI Programme and to play a key role in championing the need for good impact practice across the sector. The draft PfG sets out how the NI Executive will deliver their priorities underpinned for the first time by an outcomes-based approach. An outcomes-based system of government if properly implemented can bring considerable advantages in terms of improving decision making, collaboration, resource allocation and demonstrating public benefit. However, implementing an outcomes-based approach is challenging – it is vital that public funders and their VCSE sector recipients are made ready for this challenge.

“As the ‘Embracing Change’ paper launched today highlights, the key message coming through is one of preparation – and while some preparation is happening in terms of training people in the technicalities of outcomes measurement – there needs to be more, particularly in terms providing people with a wider explanation and understanding of the concept of outcomes and what this means in the context of their own work areas.”

The Inspiring Impact NI Programme is a Building Change Trust initiative supporting VCSE organisations and their funders to better understand and apply impact practice.

As the Northern Ireland partner on the UK board, The Building Change Trust has invested over £750,000 over a 4 year period (2014-2017) in a dedicated programme of support for the VCSE sector and its funders locally. This has been supplemented with £240,000 from the Department for Social Development (DSD).

Community Evaluation NI (CENI) has been commissioned by the Trust to support the development and delivery of this programme.

 

Phase 2 Funding for VCSE Organisations and the Arts Sector

Following on from the accomplishments of Phase 1 of the Programme in 2014/15, Inspiring Impact NI is delighted to announce that seven VCSE organisations have been selected as sub-partners to embed impact practice within their own organisations and with a cohort of their members. This will build on the foundations already laid and will support each of these groups to apply the principles of good impact practice as outlined in the Code of Good Impact Practice.

In addition to this, a consortium of five infrastructure organisations within the Arts Sector will be supported to act as Impact Champions and apply impact practice internally and with a cohort of their members using the Inspiring Impact resources. This will be done in partnership with Belfast City Council and will look to build on the Arts Effects toolkit that was developed to support organisations to demonstrate the impact of their work.

Each organisation selected as part of the Phase 2 roll out will receive funding of up to £12,500 from the Building Change Trust to embed impact practice at an organisational level and to act as impact champions within their sector.

The seven VCSE sub-partners were chosen from organisations that have made substantive progress under Phase 1 and are:

  • Age NI
  • CO3
  • Community Development and Health Network
  • NICVA
  • Playboard
  • Sported
  • Volunteer Now

The successful arts sector consortium includes:

  • Voluntary Arts Ireland
  • Audiences NI
  • Arts & Business NI
  • Theatre NI
  • Dance Resource Base

Aongus O’Keeffe, Leader, Inspiring Impact NI Programme said:

“It’s great to get Phase 2 off the mark and to move to the next stage of our plan for transforming how VCSE organisations and their funders think about and demonstrate the impact of the work they do and investments they make.”

“We would love to have the resources to support all groups that have been involved up to now, however we do see opportunities for groups not in receipt of funding to engage and share experiences through other strands of the programme. We will be looking to see how we can widen the net and get many more organisations applying this way of working and will also be establishing a network of practitioners to share learning and good practice.”

Projects will commence in February 2016 and will run up until the end of June 2017. A range of case studies and other learning documents will be developed and shared throughout the process.

The Inspiring Impact NI Programme is a Building Change Trust initiative supporting VCSE organisations and their funders to better understand and apply impact practice.

As the Northern Ireland partner on the UK board, The Building Change Trust has invested over £750,000 over a 4 year period (2014-2017) in a dedicated programme of support for the VCSE sector and its funders locally. This has been supplemented with £240,000 from the Department for Social Development (DSD).

Community Evaluation NI (CENI) has been commissioned by the Trust to support the development and delivery of this programme.