This summer we revisited our 2017 research about the ways people use Lasting Difference resources. Once again, a great response and lots of learning!

53 people shared views in an online survey, and 16 one-to-one interviews took place. We’ll publish the full report when the work is done, as there’s a lot of helpful learning to share. For now, some headlines and quotes to share inspiration for how to make the most of the free resources provided on this site:

Cover page of the Lasting Difference toolkitLasting Difference

  • 74% of people reported changes in their practice after using The Lasting Difference toolkit.
  • 60% of organisations using the Sustainable Impact guide changed their approaches to sustainability.
  • This rises to 71% for Lasting Difference e-learning participants, where practical activities really help to embed learning.
  • 86% of participants in our workshops change their practice after attending.


Part of my operational and leadership bible!


Clarified our thinking and helped us to identify areas that we needed to prioritise in terms of organisational sustainability, whether this was an expansion of services, a contraction of services or consolidation.


Crystallised my feelings that we were too ‘lean’, so (I) focused attempts to ensure the work was relevant/effective and hire more staff to spread load/fill skills gaps.


Gave a really useful framework and common language to be able to plan and deliver services.


The resources have helped me evaluate whether things we do are strategically aligned with our vision and purpose. Also helps to determine how sustainable some of the services we provide are.


It feels like being taken on a journey with the freedom to choose your own route – lots of ideas but not too prescriptive.

Lasting Leadership

  • 67% of people using Lasting Leadership changed their leadership practice.
  • This goes up to 93% for participants on our action learning programmes.
  • 78% of e-learning participants changed their own approach to leadership.
  • The same number report a change in their organisation’s approach to leadership.

I have learned so much both about myself and about leadership and sustainability. I have changed my approach to leadership and as a result and been able to move through some really challenging predicaments. The resources have helped me to re-energise as a leader and have stoked my passion for the voluntary sector once more.


Gave me more confidence in my leadership role and my ability to convince other stakeholders of changes needed.

Sector influence

33% of respondents believe our work has influenced the sector as a whole.

Awareness amongst the sector to think beyond just funding when thinking about sustainability.


I suspect there has been substantial sector impact.


People from wider sector who took part (in workshops) also grew in confidence and belief in their own abilities in my view.

How people use the resources

Most people (75%) use the resources on their own. Our experience is that the 60% who involve colleagues are likely to find the self-assessment and action planning even easier.

Running self-facilitated staff or board development sessions remains the most popular way to use the resources, as it was in 2017.

Between a quarter and a third of organisations develop new strategies and sustainability plans, or review their existing ones.

Interestingly, a quarter of organisations now engage wider stakeholders in using the resources. We strongly encourage this – sustain your work by sharing it!

Illustrations from real life practice

Survey respondents asked us for more examples of how people use the Lasting Difference suite of resources. Check out our case studies, symbol holders and these survey quotes for inspiration and ideas!

We have utilised The Lasting Difference toolkit to reassess our business in particular since the Covid pandemic.  It has allowed us to step back and look objectively at our organisation, our operations, processes and critically our capacity.


We used the Lasting Difference toolkit to develop our sustainability plan, working with the management team and Board of Trustees.


I’ve used the resources in a transition period that our organisation is going through. A lot of staff turnover meant there weren’t colleagues to bounce ideas off of, so the resources provided the guidance and questions that I needed to consider in this period of change.


Using the ready reckoner to take a snapshot of the organisation’s perspective of where we’re at, from strategic and operational levels; to introduce evaluation frameworks to colleagues who haven’t self-evaluation before.


I’m new to the organisation and still being inducted but was encouraged to read it to understand the organisation’s approach.


The LD toolkit provided not just a template for a sustainability plan but also a different way of looking at sustainability. From the workshop I was able to take this to our Board of Trustees and share the model, which in turn influenced their thinking.


A shift from (focusing on the) latest and loudest to (the most) important and vital.