Being able to evidence the need for your work,
Demonstrating the Difference We Make
Sustainability isn’t about keeping projects and activities going for their own sake. But when services and jobs are at stake, there can be so much pressure to keep things going that longer-term sustainability gets forgotten. We end up chasing money, which pulls us out of shape and away from our core purpose and values – which makes things less sustainable.
Focusing on making a lasting difference right from the start improves sustainability in lots of ways.
Once the need for a piece of work is clearly understood, activities and resources are focused on where they can be most effective. There are baselines to measure progress against. Evaluation isn’t left until the end, it’s built into everyday practice – projects have clear outcomes to work towards, and systems are in place to measure them.
Evidencing your impact shares learning and builds trust with the people you serve, your colleagues, managers and boards, and your funders, donors and commissioners. Having credible evidence can also help to influence organisational, local or national policy. Read the full-length book Making a Lasting Difference to find out more about using evidence to sustain organisations and impact.
The problem with measuring impact therefore isn’t about why it matters. It isn’t even about how to do it: there are lots of tools and frameworks available. It just takes time to think about how to make them work for you. Download the free toolkit for practical suggestions about why, when and how to do this.