Inspiring Impact Summit

Inspiring Impact Summit

11 April 2013

Today (9 April 2013) saw a key milestone in the journey towards shaping a Development Plan for the Inspiring Impact initiative in Northern Ireland.

Over 50 delegates from voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations along with representatives of government departments, funders and impact practitioners attended a summit event in Lagan Valley Island, Lisburn, hosted by the Building Change Trust.

Inspiring Impact is a UK wide initiative, led by New Philanthropy Capital, that aims to change the way community and voluntary organisations think about their impact, which is the difference they make and to help ensure there are significant improvements to help organisations focus on this over the next 10 years.

It involves a coalition of eight organisations across the UK including the Building Change Trust. The Trust is supporting the delivery of a linked programme in Northern Ireland and is working in partnership with Community Evaluation Northern Ireland (CENI) to help develop a plan for Inspiring Impact here.

The initiative brings together all those concerned with impact – community and voluntary organisations, their funders and impact practitioners - to identify needs, clarify roles and agree an approach to promoting good impact practice.

Community and voluntary organisations must do more than only be concerned with attempting to measure the difference they make and the Inspiring Impact initiative promotes a holistic view which is more than just measurement; it is also about planning for impact, learning from and using impact data to effect change. This is called impact practice.

Today’s summit event was chaired by Julie Harrison, one of the Directors of the Building Change Trust who outlined the Trust’s ambitions for Inspiring Impact in NI. Tris Lumley from New Philanthropy Capital provided the keynote address and focussed on the progress being made to promote impact practice in Great Britain and how this might be applied to Northern Ireland.

CENI consultant, Edgar Jardine provided feedback from consultations with key stakeholders, outlined the challenges to embedding good impact practice in the voluntary and community sector and outlined the next steps in the production of a Development Plan for taking forward the initiative in Northern Ireland.

Speaking about the event, Julie Harrison, said: “The vision for Inspiring Impact in NI is better impact practice across the sector and by its funders, including government leading to improved services, better policy formation and more effective use of resources. Today’s summit event played a major role in helping to shape an Inspiring Impact Development Plan for NI.

""The event brought together key funders, government representatives, voluntary and community sector representatives and impact practitioners to take stock of products/learning emerging from the Inspiring Initiative in Great Britain, consider the issues/challenges of promoting impact practice here and to identify priorities, themes and potential projects which will inform a 3-5 year Development Plan for Northern Ireland.”

To view a video of the launch, outlining the current impact landscape in Northern Ireland, please click here.