Circular for February 2013

List of Contents

Articles

Stop Press

Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network February 2013

Welcome to this month's SAN newsletter, containing news and articles about the practice of social accounting and audit, and measuring social value, from across the UK and around the world.

The Social Audit Network promotes and supports social accounting and audit as the preferred means for organisations operating in the community, social economy and public sectors to report on their social, environmental and economic performance.

Preparations for the 2013 SAN Gathering and networking event are continuing apace, and SAN is thrilled to announce that Caroline Mason, the Chief Operating Officer of Big Society Capital has confirmed her attendance to explain how social accounting and audit will be a part of consideration of organisations in which they will invest.

In fact Big Society Capital as an organisation is embracing the principles of social accounting and plan to go to audit later this year.

Social Accounting and Audit . . . how it can help you to demonstrate your social value

SAN Conference 2012 SAN Conference 2012

The Social Audit Network (SAN) is pleased to announce its programme for the forthcoming 2013 Gathering and networking event, which will be held on Friday 19th April 2013, at 54 St James' Street, Liverpool L1 0AB.

Are you interested in social value?
Do you want to know more about how to investigate and report on your organisation's social, environmental and economic impact?

SAN is hosting a gathering for social economy practitioners interested in making social impact reporting work for them.

Our programme includes:

  • Contributions from Caroline Mason (Big Society Capital),† Maggie O'Carroll, (The Women's Organisation), Kieron Kirkland (Nominet Trust) and Chris Dabbs, (Unlimited Potential)
  • Taster sessions on why and how to put Social Accounting & Audit in to practice
  • Networking opportunities with like-minded social entrepreneurs and community advocates


The programme has been designed to help you:

  • Consider whether your organisation should start social accounting
  • Understand more about the whole process of social accounting and audit
  • Hear from investors why social accounting and audit is important to them
  • Share in the experiences of other organisations


The cost of this full day event is £125 for non-members of SAN and £95 for SAN members. The cost INCLUDES a copy of Prove! Improve! Account! the Guide to Social Accounting and Audit (normally sold at £40 each).

SAN is pleased to announce that Big Society Capital will be providing a number of sponsored places at the event.

For further information, please see the SAN website or e-mail: info@socialauditnetwork.org.uk.

Articles

A short history of social accounting and audit

A short history of social accounting and audit

SAN has updated the Brief History of Social Accounting and Audit to take account of the surge in interest in social impact. We believe that understanding the history of an approach can help people appreciate how it has evolved over time to suit the changing requirements of social economy organisations...

For more information, click here

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International news

Alan Kay met with Aune Lillemets and Toomas Roolaid from the Estonian Social Enterprise Network during their recent visit to Scotland. Aune and Toomas had come to Scotland to find out about how social enterprises are supported and were particularly interested in how social impact is measured or accounted for. Alan talked with them about Social Accounting and Audit and other current approaches to social impact.

Wonbong Jang from South Korea would like to wish SAN members a Happy New Year !!!!!

The inaugural general meeting for SAN Korea was very successful. SAN Korea was established as a Social Cooperative under the recent Cooperative Law in Korea.
The Foundation is planning a small international conference for community development in Seoul in 2013, which will cover social accounting and audit.

In South Africa there is a group in the process of setting up SAN South Africa; and later in the year a group of social entrepreneurs in Australia want to do a similar thing there...

 

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Social Enterprise an EU perspective

In early December 2012, the EU published a report on  The Social Economy in the European Union, which looks at engagement with the sector across EU member states and its role going forwards in times of economic difficulty. Showing that the UK is lagging behind its neighbours in recognition of the social economy, the report can be downloaded here.

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Success for Five Lamps

At December's RBS SE100 Awards, north-east social enterprise Five Lamps was named as the Impact Champion 2012.


The RBS SE100 Index 2012 Impact category was judged using a test developed with the SROI Network which gives enterprises a score out of seven. Five Lamps uses a social accounting and audit framework as the basis to measure its social value.

Tim West, Director and Founder of Matter&Co, which created the RBS SE100 in partnership with RBS said: "We were not only looking for an organisation which had clearly measured its social value, but one which in doing so had improved its business. The judges were impressed with the step changes Five Lamps have made from their first impact report to their second and how that has improved the effectiveness of its organisation. By measuring its value they have been able to win funding to refurbish badly needed housing"

Graeme Oram, Chief Executive of Five Lamps said: "We're delighted that our increased efforts in social reporting have resulted in new business, the way we organise our business and also in winning this award!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank SAN for your support in the auditing of our Social Accounts. Having such a strong assessment panel helped us greatly to improve our Social Accounts.

For more information on our award and to watch our award video click here
To download our 2011/12 Social Accounts
click here

Nicola Hall, Five Lamps, Thornaby, Stockton-on-Tees.

 

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Charity Impact Measurement Conference

Charity Impact Measurement Conference

The 2nd Annual Charity Impact Measurement Conference was held on 16 October 2012.

To open the event, Tris Lumley, presented the latest report from New Philanthropy Capital entitled Making An Impact: Impact Measurement among charities and social enterprises in the UK. He said that 72% of the 1,000 charities interviewed said their efforts to measure impact have increased in the last 5 years. Those interviewed described their current approaches as follows:

  • 52% Measure impact for all or nearly all of activities
  • 13% Measure impact for about half of activities
  • 10% Measure impact for a small proportion of activities and
  • 25% Do not measure impact for any activities

The benefits to the organisation after investing in measuring impact were found to be:

  • 1% Improved practices and policies in other organisations,
  • 2% Increased publicity,
  • 4% Partnerships with other organisations,
  • 7% Improved practices and policies in their own organisation,
  • 9% Improved strategy,
  • 9% Improved allocation of spending and resources,
  • 10% Increased funding,
  • 11% Improved targeting of those we help,
  • 18% Better able to demonstrate our results and
  • 25% Improved services.

The perceived barriers to developing impact measurement were:

  • 25% Not having senior management who see it as a priority,
  • 33% Not knowing how to communicate your results,
  • 26% Not having trustees who see it as a priority ,
  • 39% Impact measurement not being linked to your overall strategy or business plan,
  • 41% Not having staff who believe in the importance of impact measurement,
  • 41% Not having staff who think you can measure your impact,
  • 43% Not knowing how to analyse the data,
  • 47% Funders asking you to report on meaningless indicators,
  • 50% Not knowing what to measure,
  • 53% Not knowing how to measure,
  • 61% Not having the right skills and expertise to measure impact and
  • 79% Not having the funding or resources.

Tris went on to explain that the research had found that in developing their impact measurement practices organisations said that it would be useful to have, in ascending order:

  • Help with understanding what the main outcomes are;
  • help with including impact in business planning;
  • Off-the-shelf tools to measure particular outcomes;
  • Training and guidance in how to analyse data;
  • Help and advice from experts;
  • Discussions with similar organisations about how they approach impact;
  • raining and guidance in how to develop measurement tools and
  • More financial support for monitoring and evaluation.

Sara Llewellin, CEO of Barrow Cadbury Trust, gave her top tips as an independent funder about: 'Impact Measurement v Calculated Risk' which may interest some SAN members.

For fund seeker: start with vision/mission and work to find funding partner (safeguard against others' agendas).
For fund seeker: gather evidence for a purpose, not a funder.
For fund seeker: measure the right things (i.e. delivering on your mission).
For fund seeker: talk to funders (and don't assume they're stupid).
For fund seeker: understand the model of the funder i.e. advocacy v service delivery; change For fund seeker: properly cost the appropriately needed evaluation of impact.

For funder: start with your vision/mission and work to find fundee (safeguard against scatter gun).
For funder: be proportionate in reporting expectations
For funder: ask for the measurement of what matters.
For funder: talk to fund seekers (and don't assume they're stupid).
For funder: communicate your model effectively; manage expectations & save others' time.
For funder: pay for it if you agree it is needed!

Andrew Cooper, Research Manager of Diana Princess of Wales Memorial Fund, discussed
How can impact be balanced with learning.

Impact, he said, is not just about indicators and metrics. Learning is undertaken in real time, and can include both quantitative and qualitative data, which may come from a chat in the kitchen or a detailed report. Schemes are needed that allow an organisation to talk about their challenges, failures and taking risks. Funders like himself, whose mission is social change, have to learn what works and what does not.

Helen Highley, of Brightpurpose, introduced Carol Candler of Northern Rock Foundation, and in a joint session, emphasised that impact assessment allows organisations to learn, improve and maximise their impact. Helen said that perspectives on Effectiveness come from staff, partners and beneficiaries; those on Impact come from partners and beneficiaries, and perspectives on Value from strategic stakeholders, key players and interested observers. Carol advised organisations to be ready for some surprises and to do things differently as a result.

Other speakers included David McCullough, CEO of WRVS, who was unsure where his organisation should begin. Elizabeth Harper of St Mungo's, which opens doors for homeless people, encouraged organisations to develop their own tools to measure, improve and demonstrate their outcomes. Juliet Lyon of the Prison Reform Trust discussed the benefits of measuring impact which she had observed, and Sarah McCoy suggested SROI as a useful method.

In his keynote speech, Francis Maude of the Cabinet Office, speaking from a prepared script, said that the third sector should now be tendering to take over the running of many public services.

Mary McGarry

 

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Cabinet Office issues advice on Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012

The Cabinet Office has issued advice for commissioners and procurers on the effect of the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 ahead of the legislation coming into force at the end of the month. The 2012 Act requires commissioners to consider the economic, environmental and social benefits of their approaches to procurement before the process starts. They also have to consider whether they should consult on these issues.

Click here for Advice for commissioners and procurers

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Policy briefing

The Local Government Information Unity has published a policy briefing entitled Open Public Services experiences from the voluntary sector. To download a copy, click here.

The Social Value Guide, produced in association with Anthony Collins Solicitors, aims to helps those affected by the Social Value Act prepare for its implementation in January 2013
Local authority or public body? This guide is designed to help you embed social value in all your commissioning and procurement practices. To download a copy, click here.

Your views on impact measurement
You are invited to share your views on impact measurement at a session of the Greater Manchester Third Sector Research Network (GMTSRN) on 25th January.
The GMTSRN will host a representative from the research co-operative Substance to explore factors that determine whether third sector organisations are able to access the right impact measurement tools and what might be done to help. Substance is leading the data, tools and systems work strand of the UK-wide project Inspiring Impact. Led by New Philanthropy Capital, ACEVO and NCVO, among others, Inspiring Impact is trying to make high quality impact measurement the norm for charities and social enterprises.
The GMTSRN meeting takes place from 2pm to 4pm at the St Thomas Centre. The consultation session is expected to last for 30 or 40 minutes as part of this meeting.
In order to RSVP or to send your comments on the topic, please contact susanne.martikke@gmcvo.org.uk.

Substance and the Inspiring Impact Campaign


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Stop Press

2013 Gathering and networking event


SAN is hosting a gathering for social economy practitioners interested in making social impact reporting work for them.

Our programme includes:

  • Contributions from Caroline Mason (Big Society Capital), Maggie O'Carroll, (The Women's Organisation), Kieron Kirkland (Nominet Trust) and Chris Dabbs, (Unlimited Potential)
  • Taster sessions on why and how to put Social Accounting & Audit in to practice
  • Networking opportunities with like-minded social entrepreneurs and community advocates


The programme has been designed to help you:

  • Consider whether your organisation should start social accounting
  • Understand more about the whole process of social accounting and audit
  • Hear from investors why social accounting and audit is important to them
  • Share in the experiences of other organisations


The cost of this full day event is £125 for non-members of SAN and £95 for SAN members. The cost INCLUDES a copy of Prove! Improve! Account! the Guide to Social Accounting and Audit (normally sold at £40 each).

SAN is pleased to announce that Big Society Capital will be providing a number of sponsored places at the event.

For further information, please see the SAN website or e-mail: info@socialauditnetwork.org.uk.

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Contacts and Coordinators

North East England

Julie Gowland

South East

Barbara Beaton

South Central England

Dave Furze

North West England

Liz Brooks Allen and Anne Lythgoe

West Midlands and East Midlands

Iftikar Karim (until June 2016) and Sean Smith

Yorkshire and Humber

Bernie Speight

South West England

Helen Vines

Northern Ireland

Peter MacCafferty