Having adopted new methods of collecting data, the Ayrshire team found that they had better, more robust and more varied evidence to report on and to present to funders. They were able to build up a narrative of change rather than simply capturing a snapshot, and can contextualise the changes they saw in people, so funders could easily recognise the significance of ‘soft’ indicators.
After one member of staff attended a workshop delivered through the Third Sector Interface, the Ayrshire team realised they would benefit from further support and training in how to measure and evaluate their impact. This motivated them to sign up to the Just Enterprise sessions, through which more of their team could take part in a more intensive and bespoke training. Three members of the Ayrshire team participated in the Just Enterprise workshops, which were delivered over two separate days.
The first session, delivered online, consolidated the Ayrshire team’s understanding of how to measure social impact, what data to gather and why, and how this fitted with the data collection processes that NAS already had in place. They created a Logic Model, which the team reviewed and finalised in the days after the first workshop. The second workshop was delivered in person. Using the Logic Model they had created, the NAS in Ayrshire team defined objectives and outcomes that could be applied across all the projects they deliver, and discussed how to adapt and enhance the processes and methods they were already using to be more effective, streamlining their data collection rather than adding unnecessary work.
This made things easier when it came to writing evaluation reports or funding applications. Having adopted new methods of collecting data, the Ayrshire team found that they had better, more robust and more varied evidence to report on and to present to funders. As a result, the team have noticed the positive feedback they are getting from existing and potential funders/partners.
“It’s often those soft outcomes for people that we are supporting – and we as the deliverers and practitioners can see it and we celebrate it. But to the funders, some of these things can seem really, really trivial. Being able to evidence that in a more impactful way was good – there was context and meaning behind it.”