For some charities looking to measure and understand their impact, it is not immediately clear that a robust and accurate assessment of their work can be made as a result of the quality of the data available. But PBE can help.

Most charities at the beginning of their journey to understanding their impact start at PBE’s flagship Unlocking Impact Workshop. Here, charities receive an expert-led introduction to the economic approach to measuring and valuing the impact of their work. Alongside other organisations at a similar stage in their data journey, charities learn about the most credible methods for measuring and valuing impact. Using real life examples, PBE helps charities to understand the different models of valuing impact, such as cost-benefits and scenario analysis, and to begin to think about how they can use evidence to inspire change.                         

For charities that want to dive further into their impact but still don’t have all the data, PBE can work them to build a detailed assessment of the feasibility of a full impact assessment, reviewing all the different routes to find out whether there is sufficient data and/or evidence available to undertake an Analysis or Advocacy project. If there is not, expert economists will endeavour to advise charities on the steps needed to make a robust economic evaluation possible in the future.

How have other charities made use of PBE Advisory reports? 

BS3 Community
BS3 Community is a charity and social enterprise that offers social prescribing through its Community Webs programme, a service based within local GP surgeries, aimed at supporting patients to access social activities and non-medical support services available in their community.

PBE assessed the feasibility of evaluating the economic impact of their Community Webs programme by examining the availability and quality of evidence that could help link the outcomes of the programme to reduced demand for the National Health Service, including for GP appointments and reduced primary care usage. While there is not yet enough data to estimate its economic impact, PBE’s report provided recommendations on how BS3 Community could engage with GPs to gather the data they needed, as well as how to align BS3 Community’s data with the national measures of well-being and loneliness used by the Office of National Statistics to make a robust assessment possible.

Housing Rights
Housing Rights is a Belfast-based charity which is a leading provider of independent specialist advice, advocacy and representation services to individuals and families, throughout Northern Ireland, who are homeless or suffering housing problems. 

PBE undertook a detailed feasibility study to look at the different ways Housing Rights may save taxpayers money, reduce costs of future re-offending, and increase tax revenue through improved employment outcomes. Its report advised Housing Rights on how to collect evidence for a control group themselves, and the kind of data the Northern Ireland Prison Service needed to start routinely gathering data on housing outcomes for prisoners when they are released.

How does it work?

Step 1: Register your interest in attending an Unlocking Impact Workshop by getting in touch with [email protected]

Step 2: If you want to go further into understanding your impact after the workshop, the charity and PBE will meet for a first scoping meeting

Step 3: If PBE can help, then off we go! PBE will recruit volunteers to help with the project, run the analysis and write it up, keeping in close contact with the charity as we go.

Step 4: When the project completes, the PBE team will work with the charity to launch the results. This can involve launching to the media, an event, or submitting to the charity’s board.

What kind of charities can PBE help like this?

To be eligible for a project such as this, an organisation would normally:

  • Be headquartered and deliver services to beneficiaries in the UK.
  • Be a charity or social enterprise.
  • Have a turnover of between £100k - £10 million (Please note that we may ask larger organisation for a contribution towards the core costs of completing the project).
  • Have at least 2 months’ financial reserves.

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