It’s easy to think of impact measurement as a distraction – something funders demand of you for their own purposes rather than something that can benefit you directly or something that takes up time staring at spreadsheets that could be spent on a pitch or in the ring. But done right, impact measurement can be easy and invaluable. It can help you work better, as well as attracting money.
Knowing how well you’re doing – and where you can do better – lets you ensure you’re doing the best you can for the young people you work with. You might even find you’re doing better than you thought, or that your work is having a positive impact on something you never even thought about.
Read some case studies about how good impact practice has benefited some of our Northern Ireland groups here.
Five key questions*:
1.How could focusing on impact help you do your job?
Sported member, Britwell Youth and Community Project noticed their evening sessions produced much better results than afternoon sessions, and have restructured their activities to generate greater impact.
2.How could focusing on impact help you with long-term finances?
St Paul’s GAC in Belfast, used their impact practice action plan to secure additional funding, even before implementation. The funder explained that having a factual research document made it so much easier to understand the need for funding and the need for invasive and prolonged vetting was greatly reduced.
3.Is focusing on impact the new normal?
Impact measurement and outcomes based accountability is already the norm, not the exception. By choosing to focus on your impact practice now, you can ensure you are equipped for the increasing development of this!
4.When is ‘the time’ to prioritise impact?
Now! Sported member Fitzone Foundation are a relatively new group, established in 2013. Focusing on their impact practice helped their committee discuss and agree their organisational outcomes. On the other hand, Knights Wheelchair Basketball Club celebrated their 25th Anniversary in 2015, but hadn’t considered their impact beyond sporting achievements. Focusing on their impact practice has helped develop their organisational strategy and outcomes for the next 25 years!
5.What could you do today to get started?
The key thing you can do is encourage everyone within your organisation to ask, “What difference am I making?”. We guarantee this simple question will lead to inspiring stories being shared, volunteers becoming more motivated and the difference you make on your community becoming clearer.
*Adapted from: Are You Leading for Impact?, NPC, 2013. Check this out for more information!
I’m interested – what’s next?
Whatever stage you’re at, we’ve put together some resources to make sure it’s as easy as possible to get you started or to improve your impact practice processes. To start with, we recommend taking a look at our Overview and Glossary of Terms and NPC’s Journey to Greater Impact. If your organisation is committed to Impact Practice, you should sign up to Inspiring Impact’s Code of Good Impact Practice.
-Keep an eye out for #fitforimpact updates on our twitter feed, and news of upcoming Sported impact practice workshops in your region.
-Your Sported Network has a section all about ‘Your Impact’, full of helpful resources & information.
-Request ‘Light Touch’ mentoring support from our team of expert volunteers.