Investing for Good logo

Provider: Investing for Good

Location:
  • London

Website: http://www.investingforgood.co.uk/

Contact:gburnand@investingforgood.co.uk

Sector experience:

Areas of expertise:

Organisation overview:

Investing for Good (IFG) is a leading impact intermediary. We have worked with many of the UK’s leading charities and social enterprises, social investors and intermediaries, providing the full range of advice and tools necessary for effective impact measurement and evaluation.

We have published two market leading best practice guides based on extensive research, The Good Analyst and The Good Investor. We have a deep understanding of current impact measurement practices among our peers, following our most recent publication, Oranges and Lemons, as commissioned by Big Society Capital. We provide practical consulting services based on the core findings of these publications in the areas of impact measurement, analysis and strategy. We also conduct independent impact ratings and
reports.

For charities and social enterprises, we work with them to articulate their impact strategy and provide them with practical and relevant frameworks and tools (including the use of technology) which allow them to monitor, track and manage their impact over time.

For investors and grant makers seeking to incorporate social impact into their portfolios we
provide a range of impact advisory services. These services touch on every stage of the investment process and advance the investor/grant maker towards best practice.

As a SIFI we are highly familiar with the funding constraints that many charities, social enterprises and community-led organisations face in the current economic climate.

Our vision is a market place that encourages, supports and enables the positive use of money to effect social change. We also undertake capital raising and other corporate finance activities, having been responsible for bringing to market innovative social bonds and structured funds.

Case study 1: Business and Education London South

Sector:

  • Employment, training & education

Focus of project:

  • Programme design / theory of change facilitation
  • Developing impact plans
  • IT systems support
  • Building impact measurement tools

BELS is a Croydon-based charity that supports young people into employment or training through the provision of information, advice and guidance and skills training. While BELS already had few measures in place to capture its impact, it needed more meaningful target outcomes, and a stronger body of evidence to be more competitive for public contracts and impact bonds. Its existing measures were relatively ad hoc and responded to competing funder needs and didn’t address the organisation’s own need to use impact for its own performance management.

We worked with BELS to review and update its Theory of Change, defined more useful KPIs, and designed more adequate data collection tool, before implementing an online CRM system. The choice of CRM was the result of thorough research into BELS’ needs, budget and organisational capacity.
BELS ended up with a comprehensive impact framework and refined its outcomes to best reflect their programme design, and moved away from being funded-driven.
Through our new tools and the CRM, it could capture meaningful metrics in a simple and hassle-free way. This freed up an great amount of time for staff who was managing everything on paper.
It also enabled the team to store and review its impact data at any time, and to easily create useful dashboards for its staff, funders and stakeholders.
BELS also rolled out Ipads to help staff capture customer information during the workshops with young people, reducing the workload for the team.

Case study 2: Blue Sky Development

Sector:

  • Employment, training & education

Focus of project:

  • Programme design / theory of change facilitation
  • Data management & analysis
  • Building impact measurement tools
  • Reviewing external evidence

Blue Sky is an award-winning social enterprise that employs and trains ex-offenders. It aims to break the cycle of re-offending and challenge perceptions about ex-offenders. Diverse funder and commissioner requirements have shaped Blue Sky’s impact measurement approach, making it project oriented and in need of greater consistency for evidencing its overall social impact. It also didn’t factor in soft outcomes for ex-offenders or their own experience of the service.

What we did:
• Defined ToC with management and staff
• Carried out focus groups and interviews with beneficiaries to define outcomes based on their own experience
• Defined KPIs and created tools to measure those softer outcomes and capture beneficiary perspectives
• The approach was integrated in a bespoke data collection tool, tracking performance in a visual way (in sophisticated Excel Tool).

Blue Sky now has a thorough and useful approach to impact and a dedicated tracking tool, which allows the organisation to capture, store, analyse and extract precise information for performance management and communication to internal or external stakeholders. This also integrates performance KPIs against which impact results can be compared. Through our work with BS, the organisation’s culture and processes have moved to embed impact management in its day-to-day activities and strategy. It also has convincing evidence at hand to win more contracts and compete with for profit organisations.

Case study 3: Thera Trust

Sector:

  • Mental health & wellbeing

Focus of project:

  • Programme design / theory of change facilitation
  • Developing impact plans
  • Performance management
  • Data management & analysis

Thera is a charity that works with and for people with a learning disability to empower them to lead full, productive lives, and support them to have control over their own life. IFG supported Thera to put in place an impact framework, ahead of the launch of its social bond, which the charity issued with us in 2015. Since, we support Thera every year to review its data and produce an annual report.
In 2014, we created a ToC and Excel tool to track outputs, outcome trends, calculate improvements, productivity and flag up areas of low performance.
Since the bond issue, we have supported Thera to produce its annual impact report. The process is one of reflection and analysis on the organisation’s performance, looking at successes and areas for improvements, both in its service delivery, and in the impact data gathering process. Thera has now published 2 reports. This was a great way to share successes with investors, commissioners and the wider public. See latest report here: https://www.investingforgood.co.uk/case-studies/theraimpact2017
The data analysis and review process has helped Thera grow or revise some services to improve its outcomes. Successful examples of this process include: Reaching 100% employment sustainment through increased job brokerage and work trials, improving positive outcomes for people with severe behavioural needs through efforts to move away from housing people in shared housing.
We supported Thera to raise £2m with our network of Social Investors.