A Journey To Greater Impact: Six Charities That Learned To Measure Better

Many people mistakenly judge charities based on admin costs or chief executives’ salaries, but what really matters is the change they create for the people they help: in other words, their impact. To demonstrate that your charity is really changing people’s lives, you need some way of assessing your work, or measuring your impact, to prove to supporters, funders and beneficiaries exactly what you are achieving. But measurement remains a challenge for many charities, with pressure from commissioners and funders and resistance from frontline staff. If done well, impact measurement can be a benefit rather than a burden. In this report, we highlight six organizations at the forefront of charity impact measurement in the UK and the US. These ‘bright spots’ are committed to high quality impact measurement and have reaped the rewards of putting it into practice. We use our six bright spots to give other charities examples to emulate. Rather than promoting ‘ideal best practice’ as defined by academics or researchers, we are promoting ‘real good practice’, looking at the experience of charities and funders, including small, front-line organizations. We show that impact measurement really is accessible for most organizations, and that it can be done in a way that is proportionate to their size. Our bright spots show that with the right people, support and systems, any charity, big or small, can do impact measurement well.





New Philanthropy Capital


Benedict Rickey, Tris Lumley, Eibhlín Ní Ógáin


November 1, 2011

Media Type:



Impact Measurement