Push for UK government to help charities measure their impact
17 February 2020 at 4:12 pm
Charities could soon have access to free impact measurement resources
A UK MP wants to create a new body to help charities measure their impact, which he hopes will make it easier for them to secure funding.
Conservative MP Simon Fell recently introduced a private members bill that would set up a new government agency to measure the impact of a charity’s services.
Fell said this would make charities better placed to bid for government funding, given they could use the impact measurement to demonstrate their suitability for a service contract.
“[Charities] do huge amounts of good for our community, but often live hand-to-mouth, struggling from one funding application to the next,” Fell said.
“The private members bill [will] help them get past that hurdle – providing an accredited team of officials from across government who will be able to drop in and measure the impact of the work that organisations like these do, so that future funding is easier to secure.”
If passed, UK charities would be able to request support to measure the impact of their services, and also be given access to best practice case studies.
Fell said this would not only simplify future funding applications, but also allow charities to learn from each other and improve their services.
“It’s going to be an interesting journey trying to change this idea into a law and success will probably be more by luck than judgement,” he said.
“However, I’m heartened by the number of organisations who have come forward and offered to lend support as the bill progresses.”
The second reading of this bill is scheduled for 11 September.
In Australia, impact measurement has proved to be a challenging issue.
A report from the University of Western Australia last year found that there was a gulf between the expectations of NFPs to measure their outcomes and the funding available to do so.
Researchers said funding contracts – particularly government ones – should include dedicated funding for impact measurement.
In October, the University of Technology Sydney and Community Sector Banking (CSB) released a free toolbox to help charities evaluate the social impact of their programs.