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Evaluation and impact

With increasing focus on the outcomes and impact of the voluntary sector, it is more important than ever to conduct high-quality and robust evaluation work. Development and adoption of good monitoring and evaluation practice will enable you to collect the right data, demonstrate the value of your work and support with your planning and strategy.

NCVO is uniquely placed to provide evaluation support. We have close to 30 years’ experience in supporting voluntary organisations to learn from and improve their work. We carry out high quality external evaluations and build organisational capacity in monitoring and evaluation. Our bespoke consultancy, tailored training, and practical resources are all designed to meet the needs, realities and ambitions of voluntary organisations.

We support organisations to identify the difference they want to make, using a theory of change or other suitable approaches. This type of impact planning can help you focus your organisation’s strategy, plan how to use your resources efficiently, and communicate the value of what you do – as well as forming the basis for your evaluation.

The needs of your organisation

We use multi-disciplinary techniques to deliver insightful findings that reliably demonstrate outcomes and impact. We can work with you on challenges like how to:

  • Develop evidence to inform your strategy and organisational plans - Identifying the difference you make can help you focus your organisation’s strategy and plan how to use your resources efficiently.
  • Make your work more effective - Through evaluation, you can identify where your work is most effective and impactful, and where you might change or develop. This can help you improve services and programmes to make a bigger difference.
  • Report to funders and attract further funding - Those funding, commissioning or investing in voluntary organisations increasingly ask about the difference organisations have made – not just what they’ve delivered. Collecting evidence of your outcomes and impact can also help build a case to attract further funding.
  • Improve your communications - Evaluation findings can help you communicate with your organisation’s key audiences. You could share your findings to engage current or potential donors, or to increase public understanding of what you achieve. You might also be able to use your data for lobbying or campaigning.
  • Motivate staff and volunteers - Seeing evidence of what their work has achieved can boost staff and volunteer morale, generating a sense of shared purpose.

How our consultancy service can help

Each year NCVO works with thousands of voluntary organisations. Our extensive training provision, sector-leading guidance and publications, and breadth of practical experience gives us the expertise to support organisations in demonstrating their impact and championing their work.

  • Theory of change and Impact planning - We advocate theory-based evaluation and also support organisations with their impact planning, co-creating theories of change and monitoring and evaluation frameworks.
  • Support to measure your impact - Our consultancy can help you build an outcome and impact measurement approach and skills that will last. We can help you collect information, use it to improve your work, and communicate the difference you’re making to help secure funding. Our aim is that you can do your own evaluation once our support has finished.
  • Independent evaluations - We can provide an objective assessment of your work for organisational learning, programme development, or to enable you to report to your funders. We have independently evaluated over three hundred voluntary sector programmes, services and campaigns. Find out more about our independent evaluations
  • Funders, commissioners and investors - We support funders to plan and review their impact so they can develop funding programmes and make more effective and targeted funding decisions. We can also provide impact training programmes or consultancy for your funded organisations, so you receive better data on the difference your money makes. Find out more about our support for funders
  • Evaluation workshops - For organisations that would benefit from guided facilitation around developing an evaluation framework or want to upskill staff on the basics of evaluation
  • Learning partner support– through mentoring, NCVO can support your organisation to carry out self-evaluation over the course of a project or grant or a shorter piece of consultancy. This can be a cost effective solution for organisations where budget may be limited.
  • Data collection tools – We provide guidance in identifying and implementing suitable measurement tools tailored to your desired outcomes.
  • Literature reviews – we help organisations to understand the evidence base behind a specific aspect of need or success related to their work.
  • Focus groups/interviews – we support organisations without qualitative expertise or capactity who wish to incorporate diverse views in their evaluations.
  • Report writing – for organisations that would benefit from an externally produced evaluation.

See what impact and evaluation projects we've worked on, and what our clients say.

Contact us

If you have an issue that you think we may be able to help with, please get in touch.

Complete our enquiry form or email

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