Circular for August 2016

List of Contents


Stop Press

Contacts & Coordinators

Social Audit Network August 2016

"Marketing is manipulation and deceit. It tries to turn people into something they aren’t – individuals focused solely on themselves, maximising their consumption of goods that they don’t need." Noam Chomsky
It is a powerful quote from Chomsky and not one that I entirely agree with as I feel that businesses have to promote and sell their products in the competitive environment which is part of our prevailing economic system. 
The whole idea of marketing reminds me of a time I was wisely told by a colleague that there is often a difference between what people say they are doing and what they are actually doing.  This brings me to the main thread running through this blog which is the relationship between ‘marketing’ and ‘social impact reporting’.
In some ways it comes back to why should social and community enterprises regularly report on their performance and their impact on people, the environment and on the society in which they exist.  They do not have to.  So why do they?
Click here for the latest blog from Alan Kay. The previous blogs - all about social impact - are available on the same site if you scroll down -  


Anne Lythgoe has also written a blog, and starts like this;

Measuring social impact ‘is like quicksilver in the hand’

I was at a conference recently about the future of Volunteering, where discussion arose about how to measure its impact. Representatives from volunteering organisers complained about the problem of commissioners expecting longitudinal measurement of the social impact of volunteering, when in fact this something that varies and changes on a day to day basis. This made me think of Dorothy Parker’s quote about quicksilver ‘Leave the fingers open and it stays. Clutch it and it darts away’.
I learned that most people, especially the young, volunteer for a short period of time, or just for a one-off event. Tracking the difference that this has made for them and for society is nigh on impossible. (…and certainly would involve a huge amount of effort).
So if commissioners need to know the difference that something as ever-changing as volunteering is making, can this really be done? Should we clutch the quicksilver and try to make it fit into a box of metrics, or leave the hand open and watch it change?
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Seeking volunteers to help others measure social impact…

An interesting scheme from the Coalition for Efficiency. Measuring the Good is a skills-based volunteering programme which matches volunteers with charities and social enterprises that want to improve the way they measure their impact. They are currently recruiting organisations to take part (it is free).

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Social Value UK

This month the new Social Value UK website went live. Here you can find membership details, training opportunities, a library of resources, support packages to help you measure social value and much more. They are very keen to know what you think of it and remember to create a member profile

Visit SVUK Website

Social Value UK has also released a new report on the challenges of aggregating impact data, called Does all this measurement add up? The report takes seven different perspectives on aggregation, from a range of sectors and organisations including KPMG, Acumen and EVPA.

The download link for the report is here.

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Centre for Local Economic Strategies

Matthew Jackson, Deputy CEO of the Centre for Local Economic Strategies in Manchester has spent some of the last six months undertaking work across Europe as part of the URBACT III Programme.

He is the Lead Expert for the Procure network which consists of 11 partner cities and aims to explore how the spending power of municipalities and other anchor institutions through procurement can be more effectively harnessed to bring benefits in local economic, social and environmental terms.

In Phase 1, alongside the partners a Baseline Study was produced which detailed the activities which each of the cities were already undertaking and the types of change they wanted to instigate into the future.

The report can be downloaded at the dedicated Procure network webpage: and I hope you find it of interest.

Progress can be followed through the Procure website and through the dedicated twitter account @Procure_eu.

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Salford Community Leisure

Salford Community Leisure has shared their Impact Report 2015/16 and is currently working on the development of a set of social accounts. The report highlights their key successes and brings to life the positive impact that they have on the lives of Salford communities. It also outlines future plans for the next 2 years, taking into account the views and opinions shared through consultation with major stakeholders, that helped us formulate our purpose, values and priorities.

Download our 2015/16 Impact Report.

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Stop Press

Social Accounting Roadshow

SAN is currently planning a series of Social Accounting Roadshow events across the UK – look out for one soon near you!

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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