Trust launches Inspiring Impact NI
(Left to Right)The Trust's Nigel McKinney, Maurice Meehan and Julie Harrison with Inspiring Impact NI's Aongus O'Keefe.

Trust launches Inspiring Impact NI

24 March 2014

The Trust are proud to announce the launch of Inspiring Impact NI, a new initiative that will help the Northern Ireland Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Sector (VCSE) place impact at the heart of what they do.

Inspiring Impact NI is part of the UK wide Inspiring Impact programme, which aims to change the way the VCSE, and their funders, think about impact and to put impact practice at the centre of their work by 2022.

A launch event, held in the Mac, Belfast was attended by over 60 delegates from the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors; as well as funders, academics and impact practitioners.

The Building Change Trust, as the Northern Ireland partner on the Inspiring Impact UK board, has committed £500,000 matched by a further £188,000 from the Department for Social Development, to deliver an initial two year programme of work which will support VCSE organisations and their funders to better understand and embrace impact practice.

Community Evaluation NI (CENI) has been commissioned as the Trust’s strategic partner to support the development and delivery of the Programme. Speaking at the launch, Brendan McDonnell, CENI Director and Aongus O’Keeffe, Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader presented an overview of the Inspiring Impact NI Programme 2014-15.

In addition, products to support impact practice currently in development by partner organisations from Inspiring Impact UK were demonstrated. Gladys Swanton, CENI, presented ‘The Code of Good Impact Practice’ which defines and explains impact practice. Sam Matthews, CES UK explained ‘Measuring Up’ – an online tool to help organisations assess where they fit in terms of impact practice; and Tim Crabbe, Substance showcased an online  ‘Resource Finder’ designed to assist organisations find information on a wide range of impact tools currently available.


Speaking at the launch Aongus O’Keeffe, Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader said:“I am delighted to see the Inspiring Impact NI Programme being launched today – this has been the result of an extensive consultation exercise across the sector to identify how best to build on the work of Inspiring Impact UK and put it into practice in Northern Ireland. 

"Inspiring Impact NI aims to promote a holistic approach that is about planning for impact, learning from and using impact data to effect change.

"It brings together all those concerned with impact - the sector, its funders and impact practitioners in an effort to move towards more effective organisations maximising their impact on society".

Roy McGivern, Department for Social Development commented: “The Department is pleased to support the Inspiring Impact initiative in Northern Ireland. Its successful delivery can enable us to meet one of the key commitments in the Concordat between Government and the Voluntary and Community Sector to implement an outcome-focused approach to funding.

“It is vital that we can demonstrate the value of investments made in voluntary and community sector activity and to embed this approach across the public sector".

Building Change Trust Director, Julie Harrison said: “The Trust is delighted to have made a significant investment in this initiative, which is ultimately about enabling community and voluntary organisations in NI, and their funders, to make more of a difference to the people and places they serve".

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