The Charity Finance Directors Group (CFDG) has welcomed this week’s report from New Philanthropy Capital on charities’ use of impact reporting techniques. The NPC report ‘Talking about results‘ highlights some of the gaps in charity reporting when it comes to demonstrating real impact and outcomes.
CFDG said that the conclusions from the NPC report echo some of the early emerging results from their own research project on impact reporting, which is being conducted in partnership with CASS Business School. As with the NPC report there are significant variances in the levels at which ‘impact’ is approached in evaluation and in annual reports. In particular charities appear to be good at reporting on their outputs. However, very few are linking these outputs with the outcomes they are achieving for their beneficiaries and with sustainable impact.
CFDG Policy Manager Megan McInally said: “Whilst an encouraging proportion of CFDG members are collecting information on the impact of their services, there appears to be significant barriers associated with converting this information into meaningful representations of their outcomes in relation to the charity’s targets and mission statement. Although there are several examples of good practice, effectively presenting this information through reporting techniques is not widespread and needs to be explored further.”
She added: “We are looking forward to developing this important area of work with NPC and other key stakeholders. Charities are becoming more and more aware that the target audience for this type of information is growing and demand is increasing as funders and the general public want clear demonstration of impact from investment.”