Introduction to our recent workshops
As part of Get Yourself Active’s ongoing work in supporting organisations through the Together Fund, we’ve been collaborating with social-purpose consultancy Traverse.
Alongside Traverse, we recently ran two learning workshops for organisations that have received a Together Fund (or Tackling Inequalities Fund) award.
Designing for impact: an introduction
This workshop was aimed at people and organisations with no or limited experience of outcomes-based design. It aimed to help participants identify the challenges they are responding to, the changes that they want to achieve, and how to communicate this with different audiences.
The workshop focused on supporting participants to think through and describe the difference they wanted to make using a structured “theory of change” approach – a process that can support organisations with project and strategy design, evaluation, and communication.
Key learning points about designing for impact
Some of the key learning points for Get Yourself Active Programme Manager Anna Denham, were:
- The different evaluation terms used by funders:
- Impact: this is the overall goal or aim of a project
- Outcomes: these are the changes you want to see
- Outputs: the easily countable things you create (e.g. number of workshops delivered)
- You can’t necessarily achieve the goal on your own (i.e., attribute impact to just your organisation), others will be working in the same space.
- You will therefore likely contribute to a shared goal, or impact.
A Theory of Change is as much about the process and conversation as the final output. It is only as good as the day it’s produced – things change! It should be revisited across the lifespan of your project. Is change happening as we think it might
“[This] was completely new to me but made perfect sense. [Traverse] broke it down into logical steps and gave us the chance to work on our own through the workshop so I came away with something relevant for our organisation… The templates shared were really useful and helped me build an infographic, which has helped with subsequent successful grant applications
Fundraising Coordinator for one of our Together Fund organisations who attended this session.
Measuring your impact: an introduction
This workshop was aimed at people who have some basic experience of outcomes-based design and monitoring and evaluation processes. It aimed to help participants understand the different ways that you can prioritise and measure outcomes and capture learning within a project.
The workshop focused on supporting participants to think through the different options available to them proportionate to their work and budget and bring this all together within a simple evaluation plan – a short, written document that describes how you will evaluate your project.
Key learning points from Measuring your impact: an introduction
The importance of Measurable outcomes
- Describe single changes (avoid “ands”!)
- Should be clearly defined (avoid vague phrases)
- Be specific, e.g., is it for group or individual? What time period?
- You probably can’t and shouldn’t measure everything. Pick outcomes to measure that are:
- Most important to you (to know your project works as intended),
- Or are important to your funder (for accountability)
The two types of indicators that help you do different things
- Outcome indicators keep track of the difference you are making
- Output indicators keep track of what you have delivered.
Why you need an Evaluation Framework
- You need one to describe what you will evaluate and how you will do it. Create this at the start and share it with funders.
- The Evaluation Framework and the Theory of Change should match in terms of their wording, i.e., the outcomes specified etc. should be the same on both.
If you wish to explore how to create a theory of change in your own time, we recommend BetterEvaluation.org for templates.
We hope to run these workshops again later this year for organisations that are in receipt of a Sport England Together Fund award via Disability Rights UK. If you’re interested, please register your interest now with firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch with more details later in the year.
Our Together Fund stories
We want to work with you!
Learn more in our Together Fund hub
We want to help organisations reduce the negative impacts of Covid-19 and address any widening inequalities in participation rates in sport and physical activity.