Impact Evaluation

Evaluating Social Impact: 

Are you looking for an impact evaluation solution that quantifies your impact and still tells the human story of the positive changes you are making to people's lives? Do you want to be able to prove to your funders that the impact is directly attributable to your work? Contact us at info(at)social-capital.net

 

The challenge to measure and report on social impact is common theme amongst civil society organisations, no matter where they are in the world. A recent report by SCVO noted that in 2019, 84% of charities believed demonstrating their social impact is a significant challenge, while the 2017 Social Enterprise Census saw impact evaluation identified as as being the area where most support was needed.

More often than not, outputs that are comparatively easy to measure are resorted to, such as the number of people supported or the activities delivered. But this doesn't help attribute outcomes nor answer the question of what difference has really been made. Using the academic framework of social capital  we have developed a methodology that turns soft outcomes into hard numbers and visualises the social impact as relationship networks. We have worked with over 50 organisations to help them use this approach to successfully report on their social impact, create action plans based on the results and access new grant funding. Examples of the work we have done include;

We are also working a range of other organisations such as New Gorbals Housing Association, West Calder and Harburn Development Trust, Aberdeenshire Council CD and Eden Project Communities.

Unlocking > Potential (U>P)

In 2017, we launched Unlocking > Potential (U>P) a cloud based data analysis platform that provides easy to understand results by mapping and quantifying social networks that provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses that can then be compared to the intended targets of the organisation to improve performance and so better outcomes. U>P puts the deliverer of a social intervention in the charge of the process ensuring that the learning and expertise remains in the organisation. 

During 2017-18, U>P was piloted with 4 of the 22 Social Enterprise Networks (SENs) - Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Health - to give a broader, deeper understanding of the social impact being delivered for their members and the wider social enterprise sector.

The pilot confirms that U>P provides a standardised methodology to measure and report on social impact, as per the aim of point 2F.5 of the first Social Enterprise Action Plan. The results clearly demonstrate that SENs provide an invaluable support infrastructure for their members increasing connectivity by as much as 1,000%; 10 times the amount of connections they could access on their own.

If your organisations is struggling to show the real impact you are making to the lives of those you work with visit www.unlocking-potential.co or contact us at info@social-capital.net.

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Assist Social Capital CIC is a social enterprise and we conform to the principles of the Social Enterprise Code of Practice. 

Our current projects are:

Background on Social Enterprise

The term social enterprise began to be used in the early 1990’s. Since then the notion of social enterprise has become ever more popular. According to the European Commission, there are 2 million social enterprises in the EU (representing 10 per cent of all European businesses) and they employ over 11 million people (the equivalent of 6 per cent of the working population of the EU). In EU Member States, social enterprises are present in almost every sector of the economy, including banking, insurance, agriculture, crafts, various commercial services, and health and social services.

Social entrepreneurs are individuals who believe passionately in achieving benefit for their community via the running of an organisation. Social entrepreneurs are people who are prepared to ‘get their hands dirty’ doing what is necessary to achieve their social aim and who have the dogged determination to see it through. They often use social enterprise as a vehicle to carry out this work, choosing it for the independence and creative approach that can be found in a self-financing model as opposed to the more traditional method of charitable giving and grants.

If you are interested in social enterprise, you can also find more information on the websites of the following agencies: Senscot, SENs and Community Enterprise.