NFPs Win Impact Measurement Top Honours
12 April 2016 at 5:00 pm
Not for Profits took out the top honours in all three categories of the 2016 Social Impact Measurement Network of Australia awards.
The SIMNA awards, announced on Tuesday at the Think Outcomes conference in Melbourne, recognised excellence in social impact measurement.
The Smith Family won the award for Excellence in Social Impact Measurement, Youth Action NSW received Excellence in Collaboration, and Connections UnitingCare was named Best Newcomer to Social Impact Measurement.
“The winners of the SIMNA Awards 2016 have a lot to be proud of. Their commitment to transparency, accountability and rigour sets them apart from the competition and positions them as leaders in social impact measurement in Australia,” SIMNA chair Simon Faivel said.
Faivel said that the winners would have the opportunity to showcase their work on the SIMNA website and at SIMNA State Chapter events.
The Smith Family won the excellence award for its its social impact measurement of Learning for Life, a long-term educational program for disadvantaged children in Australia.
CEO Dr Lisa O’Brien said 34,000 disadvantaged young Australians were being supported through the program, with ongoing social impact measurement embedded into all aspect of operation.
“This award is a wonderful accolade and a testament to the rigor of our approach in measuring the efficacy of our Learning for Life program,” Dr O’Brien said.
“Achieving positive change with highly disadvantaged young people requires careful and systematic work, with support needing to be targeted, flexible, responsive and long-term.
“No other Australian organisation, government or non-government, is longitudinally tracking the educational outcomes of such a large number of disadvantaged young people.”
The Smith Family said it’s social impact measurement had a strong focus on the quantitative measurement of three longer-term key outcomes for all participating students.
The measures – school attendance, Year 12 completion and post-school engagement in education and employment – were chosen because research showed their importance for long-term social and economic wellbeing.
Through social impact measurement, O’Brien said the Smith Family was able to assess the program’s performance, as well as refine its approach.
“Social impact measurement supports our ability to be accountable for the results of our work, especially to our stakeholders groups, including families, volunteers and supporters,” she said.
“This is vital in an organisation whose work is supported financially by a range of stakeholders, including the Australian public, corporates, trusts and foundations and universities.
“The results of our social impact measurement confirm the effectiveness of our work and that disadvantaged children in Australia are achieving better educational outcomes as a result.”
The SIMNA awards are in their second year, and the network said, with more organisations measuring the impact of their activities, applications are becoming stronger and more competitive.
Of the nine organisations short-listed for the awards, eight were Not for Profits.
The Family Centre and the Reach Foundation were finalists for Excellence in Social Impact Measurement.
Souths Cares and the Australian Centre for Asian Business at the University of South Australia were shortlisted for Excellence in Collaboration.
CentacareCQ and Vicsport were finalists for Best Newcomer to Social Impact Measurement.
The Think Outcomes Conference is organised by SIMNA, in association with the Centre for Social Impact and the Australian Research Alliance for Children and Youth.