Inspiring Impact NI Background - Proving the difference that you make

8 Sep 2014 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 10 Nov 2015

How do you prove the difference your organisation makes? It is becoming more and more important for us to demonstrate the difference that we are making in our communities.

Government, funders, social investors and the public are scrutinising how they spend their money and need to see the impact that their investment is having. The Inspiring impact website has great resources to help us in this area.


Inspiring Impact is an international collaborative programme, working with the charity sector to help organisations know what to measure and how to measure.

It is managed and delivered by eight organisations. These include membership bodies to ensure it is owned by the sector, and impact measurement specialists to reflect best measurement practice.

In Northern Ireland the Building Change Trust has committed £500,000 matched by a further £188,000 from the Department for Social Development, to deliver an initial two year programme of work, which will support voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and their funders to better understand and embrace impact practice.

Community Evaluation NI (CENI) has been commissioned as the Trust’s strategic partner to support the development and delivery of the Programme. NICVA is delighted to be one of the 13 organisations awarded a grant to support groups to plan for impact practice in Northern Ireland. NICVA will be holding four masterclasses – 25 November, 27 January, 10 February and 24 February. For more information or to book go to


A 2012 survey by New Philanthropy Capital, Making an impact, examined the state of impact measurement across the UK charity sector. It found that over 50% of charities are measuring impact for all or nearly all of their activities; but that almost 25% do not measure impact at all.

Benefits of measuring impact

  • Improved services
  • Improved ability to demonstrate results
  • Better targeting of services
  • Increased funding
  • Improved strategy

Barriers to measuring impact

  • Lack of funding and resources
  • Perceived lack of skills
  • Not knowing what to measure
  • Not knowing how to measure

Components of Inspiring Impact








Code of Impact Practice

  • Take responsibility
  • Focus on purpose
  • Involve others
  • Proportionate and appropriate
  • Consider full range of difference
  • Honest and open
  • Willing to change
  • Share learning

Cycle of Impact Practice


Measuring Up self-assessment tool

Easy-to-use impact measurement diagnostic system


  • Questions to help assess how well their current measurement practices suit their needs
  • What actions are needed to improve impact practice
  • What particular approaches and tools may be useful

How Measuring up tool can help you

  • Identify your impact practice strengths and weaknesses
  • Work towards an established standard of practice
  • Improve the way you plan, evidence, understand, communicate and learn from your impact
  • Review your progress
  • Understand what ‘good’ practice looks like for your organisation

Impact Hub

Search by topic/sector/format/cost for the resources you need to improve your impact practice.


  • Diagnostic tools
  • Questionnaires
  • Survey tools
  • Performance management systems
  • Research reports

For more information and to access the measuring up tool visit's picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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