Measuring your impact (CFNI) recording

20 Mar 2021 Sandra Bailie    Last updated: 20 Mar 2021

On 11 March 2021 we held another webinar as part of the CFNI Accelerator programme funded by Department of Communities on the topic of Measuring Impact. 

Inspiring Impact cycle

Sandra Bailie from NICVA introduced the session and gave an overview of The Inspiring Impact Cycle. She signposted everyone to the Inspiring Impact website which has great resources, measurement tools, best practice examples and a diagnostic tool "Measuring Up" for you to complete.

  1. Plan - be clear about what you are trying to achieve, for whom and why. Think about your target audience. Develop your theory of change. Review your existing data
  2. Do - think about the questions you ask when you collect your data. there are different types of methods including surveys, case studies, focus groups, as well as using digital such as polls, mentimeter, google forms and social media. Always use methods to suit your service users.
  3. Assess - Look at patterns and themes. Also consider different types of data: user, engagement, feedback, outcome and impact and compare your findings to the the wider context.
  4. Review - Learn, improve, communicate. Find out what works and what doesn't not just in what you do but how you do it. Use your findings to improve service, reach audience better, engage more effectively, review internal process and communicate.

For more information on each of these click here

Theory of Change

Judith Rankin from SportedNI then described the terms used in Impact practice and explained how to develop a theory of change for your organisation. Impact simply put it is the difference we make. Although we may know this within our organisations it can be challenging to explain and communicate this to others who don't know about the work you do. At it’s core, a Theory of Change is a method of sharing and explaining your vision, in a logical pathway that ‘makes sense’ to those outside your organisation. 

Judith encouraged us to see our theory of change as a roadmap, a way of describing how our activities will lead to the changes we want to make – how we get from A to B. She described the relationship between the situation, activities, outputs, outcomes and impact. Then she gave a couple of examples from community organisations that she had worked with as well as  Sported's own Theory of change. She outlined questions to think about at each of the stages such as: what is the problem or need you are trying to address, what is the ultimate change you want to see, who are you working with?

It is also important to plan how to use your theory of change - in your strategy and planning, marketing and communications and working with partners. Consider what indicators you will use to help you know if a change as taken place and gauge the success of your programmes. You will then need to develop a measurement plan that is proportionate and appropriate for your resources. More information can be found on the slides on this artcile and also on Inspiring Impact website.

Watch the webinar:


Inspiring Impact - Self assessments

Inspiring Impact - Resource Library where you can search for tools, research report, surveys and frameworks

Impactasaurus - easy impact reporting's picture
by Sandra Bailie

Head of Organisational Development

[email protected]

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