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Why Charity Trustees should be focused on Impact

Charities play a crucial role in addressing societal issues and making a positive impact on communities throughout the UK (and it's always a personal bugbear that there isn't more support for them!). Charity trustees already hold significant responsibility for governing and managing the organisation, but in this post I wanted to explore why Trustees should know more about, and speak the language of, impact.


Impact is an acknowledgement of the outcomes and effects generated by a charity's actions. It goes beyond measuring outputs or activities and instead focuses on the meaningful change and long-term benefits created for the beneficiaries. And yet, all too often, trustees speak about outputs and not about the longer-term benefits.


Funding can be important to many charities, providing monies to implement programs that align with societal priorities and to reach its intended beneficiaries. Funders, whether individual donors or bodies, increasingly expect charities to demonstrate the effectiveness and efficiency of their interventions. By prioritising impact, charity trustees can speak the language of funders, meet these expectations, build trust and foster long-term relationships with funders.


Defining the impact a charity is making also supports accountability and transparency. By placing a strong emphasis on impact, trustees can demonstrate accountability to both donors, funders and the wider public. For slightly larger charities, this is also important during annual reporting.


Trustees who are aware of impact are likely see the value in impact planning. Trustees can align their efforts and resources towards achieving meaningful and measurable change, ensure that investment and resources are strategically allocated and organised in good time. Planned impact can also be easier to collect data for, with indicators and evaluation frameworks able to be developed in advance.


Finally, communicating impact can take many forms. I've worked with a range of charities to ensure that impact reports, annual reports, infographics, funder summaries, and websites reflect their impact.


I can support charities and trustees to plan, measure and communicate their impact.

Why Charity Trustees should be focused on Impact

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