PBE can provide charities with in-depth economic evaluation to measure the impact of a charity or intervention on wider society against the costs of delivery. Typically, this type of project might allow the charity to say “for every £1 spent, we generate £X of benefits to society”.

PBE has produced its independent advisory reports for charities in a range of areas, and the team has particular expertise in education, employment, mental health and poverty. These reports are detailed, and the process of producing them is intensive – taking between 6 and 18 months. But PBE’s analysis reports are robust and rigorous.

Charities that receive this support from PBE gain a better understanding of how the services they provide make a difference in the lives of those they help, giving them strong foundations to monitor outcomes over time and explore how changes to their services can increase their impact. And in a challenging fundraising climate, growing numbers of funders are asking for evidence of how charities impact society and the value that their work brings. PBE helps charities to build this evidence for their interventions and to describe them in an impactful way to strengthen their case for support.

How have other charities made use of PBE Analysis reports?

The Clink Charity
The Clink Charity operates training restaurants and gardens in prisons, giving prisoners the opportunity to obtain skills and qualifications while in prison and also links them to employers willing to employ them upon release.

By measuring the cost of running the scheme per head against the benefits provided to the taxpayer through reducing reoffending rates, PBE was able to calculate that for every £1 invested, The Clink’s integrated training and support programme has the potential to deliver a return of £4.80 to society.  

upReach
upReach is a charity which supports undergraduates from lower socioeconomic backgrounds (their ‘Associates’) to secure top graduate jobs. They offer free, personalised programmes of support, which are carefully designed to help students understand career pathways and develop the skills, networks and experiences needed for career success.

PBE was able to review how upReach supports its Associates’ employment and wage outcomes, for example how 85% of upReach Associates entered highly skilled employment or further study after graduation, which compares favourably to the national average of 75%, and how 90% of upReach Associates who were in employment 15 months after graduation were in a role classified as highly-skilled, 19 percentage points higher than the national average of 71%.

As the data available was not granular enough to draw causality of these results, PBE also provided recommendations for how upReach could work with HESA to improve the granularity of its reporting.

Place2Be
Place2Be is a children’s mental health charity that provides in-school support and training to improve the emotional wellbeing of pupils, families, and staff in primary and secondary schools. Place2Be approached Pro Bono Economics to better understand the impact of their work improving the mental health of the schoolchildren they provide one-to-one counselling for.

PBE and Department for Education Economist Dr Allan calculated that for every £1 spent by Place2Be on these services results in a £6.20 benefit in terms of improved long-term outcomes. The report described how providing counselling services in primary school could lead to improved outcomes in the form of reduced rates of truancy, exclusion, smoking, depression, and crime, and also higher rates of employment and wages.

How does it work?

Step 1: Charities can apply through our expression of interest form, explaining the problem that they would like PBE’s help in solving (our applications are currently closed but if you would like to be notified when we next open the project application process, please email us at [email protected].)

Step 2: The PBE team will assess the applications made for support and make sure the project is something we can help with. The key criteria we use to assess applications include:

  • The economics: Does the right data exist for us to help?
  • Strategic fit: Are we the best people to help?
  • Capacity: These projects require the charities applying to dedicate some time to them, is that possible?

Step 3: The charity and PBE will meet for a first scoping meeting.

Step 4: 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 5: 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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