Pilot grants now open for charities and social enterprises to improve their collection and use of data to scale impact and secure social investment or commissioned contracts
New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) announces the launch of £1.8 million in grant funding available to charities and social enterprises over the next year and a half through the Impact Management Programme.
The Impact Management Programme aims to bolster the abilities of charities, social enterprises and community businesses to manage their impact. This means analysing and responding to impact data—using it to change and improve programmes and services day-to-day.
There are two strands within this programme: Growth and Pathway. The aim of the grant programme within the Growth strand is to help social organisations scale their impact and diversify their income through accessing social investment and/or commissioned income. Around 40 grants in total are expected to be awarded, with an average grant size of £50,000. The pilot phase is now open and will award up to 10 grants by May 2017, with the full grant application window open from September 2017.
NPC’s Director of Research & Consulting, Rob Abercrombie, said:
‘The Growth strand of the Impact Management Programme builds on previous investment readiness and capacity building work, but is focused on helping organisations to not only better understand the impact of what they do, but crucially to use that understanding to manage and improve their services. We want impact management to be a practice that goes with the grain of what charities and social enterprises are trying to achieve, not something imposed from the outside, equipping them to achieve more and get themselves into a stronger position to close a deal. Through the network of approved providers we will also be working to ensure that the market for support delivers high quality, value for money projects’.
Grants are available to support charities and social enterprises to develop and embed an impact management plan, working with an approved provider. As well as provider time, the grant can pay for additional staff or necessary software or hardware—and projects can run for up to 12 months to ensure the plan is embedded.
Before applying for a grant, eligible organisations are required to attend a training session delivered by Impetus-PEF, a venture philanthropy organisation skilled at leading organisations to master impact management to improve the services they deliver. The approved providers have attended this training too to create a shared understanding about the purpose of the grants and the ambitions of the programme. Charities and social enterprises are eligible for the Growth strand if they are actively seeking investment or contract opportunities and operate in England—the work proposed must be for beneficiaries in England too. (Full eligibility criteria here.)
Seb Elsworth, Chief Executive of Access, said:
‘This is a real opportunity to help charities and social enterprises get in position to bid for social investment and contracts to scale what they do. The aim is to shift the market towards raising impact standards both directly and indirectly, ultimately supporting charities and social enterprises to improve services for their users’.
The training sessions, which kicked off in London yesterday, will help charities and social enterprises understand the building blocks of an impact strategy and the data they need to manage it. They’ll be able to hit the ground running with providers to build their own impact strategy. They are targeted at senior leaders to ensure that impact management gets support from the top of the organisation. Collaboration is also a critical aspect of this programme—NPC will be encouraging grantees to work together to learn from each other and overall lessons will be shared for the benefit of the wider sector.