The National Lottery Community Fund launched a new index tool signposting organisations to a range of existing outcomes frameworks offered by some of the leading impact measurement experts.  

This open resource for the sector is extremely welcome and is a helpful reminder (especially for small to medium sized organisations) for two reasons. First, there is help and support out there and some of it is free! Second, a wealth of data already exists for you to use, and that means less pressure on your own data collection activities.  

Having supported many organisations on evaluation, from developing outcome frameworks, collecting data on the ground and reporting findings, ArtReach has an insight into the challenges faced by organisations when getting started. 

We delved right into the Community Fund’s free resource, clicked all the links and read the guidance. 

Below are five featured Tools and Resources that might help you on your evaluation journey.   

  1. Big Society Capital’s Outcomes Matrix – if you need inspiration for the outcomes you want to achieve, then use this tool as a starting point. The Matrix groups together different outcome areas for a range of programmes, from arts and heritage to homelessness and the environment, and for communities, individuals and organisations. We use the tool to kick start discussions with clients when preparing evaluation frameworks and fundraising bids. Read more 
  2. Inspiring Impact Data Diagnostic Inspiring Impact is an online resource hosting self-assessment tools and peer learning networks for your evaluation needs. It has developed a useful self-assessment tool that asks 10 simple questions about the projects you seek to evaluate; who accesses your support; and how you engage with them. Once completed, you receive a report listing recommended data collections tools to use (such as online surveys, focus groups, etc), which are tailored in line with your answers.  Read more
  3. Measuring wellbeing – with some of the key arts and heritage funders, such as the National Lottery Heritage Fund, placing greater emphasis on wellbeing outcomes, it is useful to know what things you can measure to evidence your impact and the data that already exists. What Works Wellbeing recently published an evidence review on heritage and wellbeing and it is a useful guide to understand the impacts on physical, mental and social wellbeing of individuals and communities. Read more
  4. Thriving Places Index – what is great about this resource is the way it presents complex data around sustainability, local conditions and equality in your local authority area into a simple ‘scorecard’. For many, it might just be a fascinating insight into the ‘big data’ that sits behind it, but it is useful to compare different local authority areas and understand some of the broader issues facing your local community that need to be addressed. Read more
  5. New Philanthropy Capital’s guide to creating a theory of change – for those looking for a holistic approach to measurement and evaluation, NPC’s ‘four pillar approach’ provides a step-by-step guide to take you through the process. Using a theory of change can be helpful for all areas of your work from strategy, programme planning and even fundraising.  Read more

For support measuring impact and evaluating programmes, ArtReach offers 1-2-1 consultancy support and even covers some of the tools in its fundraising and evaluation workshops. 

For questions or thoughts, get in touch by email or call 0116 261 6882.