Impact Services - Community Led Initiative

About

Community Led Initiative is a charity operating in Manchester and Bedford in England, aiming to help people who want to make changes to feel part of a community and achieve their potential. Through peer-to-peer mentoring and group activities, they remove barriers to community inclusion for people who are socially excluded, facing complex issues such as drug/alcohol misuse, homelessness, offending, mental ill health.

Challenges

CLI staff have strong connexions with their beneficiaries, they know the progress that is being made at individual level, but were not equiped with sufficient data to consistenly learn from it and communicate on it at a project level. They already captured impact data, comparing before/after, using tools such as the Outcome Stars. However, the management was not fully satisfied by these tools, as they felt it was difficult to draw conclusions, and to link them to CLI's organisational objectives.

Our work

Developing a bespoke impact management framework to be used consistently by all project managers

This project was delivered in 2018/2019 in the context of the Impact Management Programme, funded by the Access Foundation and Power to Change, aiming at building the capacity of charities and social enterprises to manage their impact.

Investing for Good started with an in-depth analysis of two key projects, that offer peer-to-peer mentoring to: 1. ex-offenders (Manchester), 2. people in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction issues (Bedford). We listened to project managers about their activities, expected impact, challenges, existing data collection practices. To better grasp CLI's impact, we organised 4 Focus Group discussions with mentees and mentors.

This initial work allowed us to support CLI in the following:

  • Formalising the impact strategy: defining CLI's vision, mission and outcomes (long term and end of programme outcomes)
  • Identifying the conditions for success for each programme (short term outcomes);
  • Create a beskope measurement framework, using Outcome scales to track progress towards the outcomes, as well as a questionnaire to measure long term impact when people have left the programme;
  • Redefine data collection processes;
  • Support CLI with the migration to a new data system, ensuring the compatibility of the tool with the new platform;
  • Facilitate the adoption of the framework by the staff through trainings;
  • Give recommendations on data analysis and reporting, including dashboards and reports design.

CLI's feedback

"It is clear to see how you have pulled all of the work together into a final result which we all feel is really bespoke to CLI, and will effectively allow us to manage and report on our impact. Thank you for doing such a brilliant job with this and for your patience in supporting us to understand the foundations of our impact journey. You have equipped us to be more confident as we move forward and begin to communicate our impact to our stakeholders."